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Women in Analytics

Inaugural Event at Facebook: Make Your Mark Takeaways

At the Women in Analytics Inaugural Event at Facebook , table leaders led two rounds of co-mentoring, where an honest view of challenges and opportunities for talented women were shared. Questions used to guide the conversation were on the topics of Opportunities, Leadership Skills, and Challenges.


  1. How do you set your agenda to “change the world” and what words of advice and inspiration can you share?
  2. What do you think women bring to the analytics space that is missing?
  3. What are some of the specific skills women need to be more front and center to lead the $100B in Analytics spending in the next three years?

Leadership Skills

  1. What abilities, skills or personal qualities do you believe contributed to your success in analytics and what specific steps have you taken to drive growth and change?
  2. How do you keep things in perspective?
  3. Do you have any book/industry periodicals/blog or talented women influencer recommendations and how have you approached potential mentors?


  1. What are some of the biggest challenges you have and how have they changed throughout your career?
  2. Given that $100B in spending is supposed to go into Analytics in the next three years, why do you think women are still underrepresented in the industry and in global leadership positions?
  3. Throughout your career, were there barriers and how did you overcome them?

Here were the fantastic take-aways as presented by each Table Leader!

Lauren Moores

We need to market how cool analytics is.

We need to advertise better how great analytics really is. Girls won’t know what it is. I could get paid to look at data! Create a campaign – be part of it!

Kathy Bachman

There are more male professions and we should figure out a way to market analytics as “sexy”.

  • Women need to get into the executive boardroom.
  • Women need to silence their inner critic.
  • Real need to grow the pipeline of talent – use sexy advertising. Promote those women who already do it well. It’s about female professionals.
  • It’s a jungle gym, not a ladder.
  • Importance of speaking up, taking risk.
  • Need to be board room ready.
  • Need speaking skills.

Summer Shiavo

Panels should reflect the community 50% male/50% female. Need more women on panels.

  • Every woman should self reflect and realize they are not where they are because they have been lucky and that they have earned it.
  • Women should ask for help when they need it.
  • Don’t have to answer “what do women bring to analytics, just want to do the job”.

Michele Mandansky

We need to take care of ourselves first.

Women bring a lot to the table including intuition, storytelling bringing non-traditional stories and there is so much we should be celebrated for.

Nancy Smith

We should create a mentoring circle and inspire and help develop women in analytics.

Megan Clarken

Was inspired by youth that don’t see boundaries or challenges and finds this perspective refreshing.

Dawn Cunningham

Most people she spoke with “fell into” analytics and perhaps this area is not being properly presented at universities.

Women tend to associate power negatively. Rather than associating power as being dominant, we should embrace and see power as leading in a positive direction. We talked about “I fell into it” and “no one ever talked to me about it.” How do we make this a richer pipeline.

Sable Mi

Women apologies more than men. Need to be mindful of language.

Gender bias and barriers are there. Women have been great at analytics for decades, but now that it is a “science” it is seen as more for men. Chance to re-define analytics so it is less gender scientist. We want problem-solver, trend-spotter, pattern-seeker.

Karyn Schoenbart

Focus on outcomes.

It would be great if we can focus on outcomes and what industries are doing to advance women in analytics.

Mary Ann Packo

Analytics is about connections relationships and partnerships, not just data.

There is so much competition around the room but being together is a strength.

Barb Murrer

Women should pitch and share what they are doing

Pointed out that women rarely talk about how much they have done as opposed to men.

Analisa Alano (Fox)

… want ARF help to create that leadership.

Thanks ARF for this unique gathering, leadership and fostering leadership as we grow as women.

Barbara Singer

… looking for – someone who is scrappy, eager to learn, restless …

Shared a description of what an analytics recruiter at her table is looking for – someone who is “scrappy, eager to learn, restless (even after they get the answer, keep going) and knows how to have fun”. Also, thought women should be happy at work so they are successful. If a “lane change” is needed, women shouldn’t be upset at themselves. They need to move where they are happy to be their best.

Posed the question – are women in leadership underrepresented because they’ve been kept out, or because they don’t want it?

Daniel Slotwiner

Need diversity of thought.

Most didn’t start out to be a data scientist. Most just started out being curious. Ask why they acquired the skills they got. Lot of ways to get to the position you are in.

Tania Yuki

Women need to learn how to not take things personally if they don’t go their way.

Also, men never say “I’m not technical, but…” whereas many women she interviews says that and its not true. Women need to be more confident because what they are really saying is “I’m not qualified”.

An attendee thanked the ARF as they had never seen so many women in analytics in one room!

Chrystal O’Laughlin

When we are looking to hire, we look to hire resilient people with willingness to tackle tough problems.