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Data Xpresso Podcast shownotes – episode 8

Data-driven women leaders you should know about

Diversity in leadership is more vital than ever as innovation and positive change come when you tackle your business challenges from the broadest of perspectives. So, in our latest Data Xpresso podcast, we look at six women who are making a huge impact as leaders in data-driven companies.

As well as profiling these game changers, we’ll discuss the potential opportunities you can uncover by nurturing and developing a similar culture of female leaders in your organization.

Inspirational women in data

‘My first example is a lady called Elena Grewal. She took an unusual career path into data, spending a lot of time at academia with a degree at Stanford. But she ended up moving into science at AirBnB, before heading up her own consultancy. Apart from her great work around data science I really admire what she’s done behind the scenes of the industry. She’s a great advocate for greater diversity in data science, especially around the hiring process and reducing unconscious bias with a blind audition process.’ Helena Schwenk

‘Elissa Fink is a great example for me. She’s the former CMO of Tableau and what made me pick her was – and I know this from personal experience – she genuinely uses data in her day to day life to drive decisions. She’s really lived it and she was instrumental in helping Tableau grow into the market leader they have become. She was also key in building a fanatical community of Tableau users who are basically influencers for the industry.’ Eva Murray

‘Caroline Criado-Perez is one I’d like to mention. She’s famous for her feminism. Her book Invisible Women cleverly demonstrates through data how the world we live in does, to a degree, ignore the existence of women. For instance, she showed how with heart attack research the data collected is almost exclusively male dominated.’ Helena Schwenk

What unique skills can female leaders bring to organizations?

‘Empathy is a big one. That’s not to say it’s exclusively women who have this skill but it’s definitely something female leaders thrive at, and it’s often downplayed as a so-called soft skill. But I think it’s really important in leadership as it helps promote the right culture of co-operation and commitment from your teams. And how can you succeed without that? At the heart of it, empathy gives people the sense that they are genuinely being listened to. That’s invaluable – and why a lot of companies now offer empathy training.’ Helena Schwenk

‘When I think of female leaders one thing that unites them is how they lead in a way where they don’t just assume they know better than anyone else. They really listen. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that. The results have shown when it comes to tackling the pandemic in the most effective way, the leaders who have fared best are the ones who listen to scientists and experts. And when you combine this ability to truly listen with the grit shown in the female leaders we’ve talked about, it can be really persuasive and useful in helping organizations grow.’ Eva Murray

Data Xpresso Podcast – find out more

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Book mentioned related to women in data

‘Invisible women’ by Caroline Criado-Perez

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