Having been a female my entire life and interested in numbers for nearly as long, I’m passionate about getting more women to work with data. We know that there’s a gender imbalance in data analysis roles across the industry. Even at REA Group, only about 30% of our data analyst roles are currently held by women. With data roles projected to grow by nearly 20% over the next five years and data becoming increasingly important in fields from marketing to HR to agriculture, it’s a great time to encourage more women to enter the field.
One of the ways we’re doing this at REA Group is to partner with Datadriven.sg to run full-day Data Girls workshops, designed to give an overview of tools and techniques for data analysis and how data is used to drive business decisions. In our first two workshops we’ve hosted over 120 women from many different industries, including education, music, medicine, and marketing–all with a range of experience in using data.
Industry experts demystify some common terms like “data visualisation” and “machine learning” (though unfortunately, nobody knows what “data science” actually means). In addition, the women get some hands-on experience with crafting SQL queries and using Yellowfin, a business intelligence software. Despite the chaos that naturally occurs when teaching a room of 70 people SQL for the first time, it’s a great chance for the attendees to put the theory they’ve just learned into practice.
Finally, data analysts from different companies, including REA Group, Keboola, Yellowfin, and the Victorian Centre for Data Insights share their own career experiences, and our own Talent Acquisition team shed light on career opportunities and the skills we look for when they’re hiring for a data role at REA Group.
For each of the workshops we’ve had over fifty women on the waitlist, and we’re looking forward to hosting more workshops this year–for both our own staff and the female data community in Melbourne. I hope that through initiatives like this we can ensure that everyone is equipped with the knowledge and tools to work with data. I’m also hoping to get a few more women in my team for my daily debriefs on Beyoncé, shoes, and sometimes even Beyoncé’s shoes.