Continuing in our series Women in Tech for International Women’s day we have Natasha, a Data Analyst who has been in the industry for 9 years.
Can you give a brief overview of your job/role?
As a data analyst I extract and represent data in a way that can be interpreted by others, providing insights that help to answer questions and make decisions.
This is often done through data visualisations that highlight trends and patterns or reporting that shows position against KPIs, but there are many other tools and methods that can be applied depending on the context and type of data.
Can you give us a little background of how you got into your industry, and why you chose this profession?
I always had an interest in technology through school and college, but I wasn’t sure what area I wanted to focus on. I took a break between college and university, working retail jobs, while I decided where I wanted to go with my career. Then I completed my degree in Computing & IT and the final project in my last year was data focussed which required gathering, cleansing, manipulating, and presenting data to tell a story to the audience. This is where I first appreciated the importance of data for decision making in all sectors and I went on to learn more languages and processes whilst applying those skills and working my up through the service desk levels and eventually into Business Intelligence and Retail Data Services.
What was your dream job when you were younger and why?
I wanted to be a chef because I loved cooking and trying new things from a young age, but a couple of my first jobs in hospitality quickly made me realise I only liked cooking for myself on a much smaller scale!
What are some traits that you think great leaders possess?
I think great leaders are ones who can empathise with the people that they lead and are prepared to do any sort of task when it comes to working towards a common goal.
What woman inspired you in business and why?
All the women in my family have always worked hard and excelled in their careers whilst managing families and everyday life. Growing up around that motivation and commitment is inspiring.
Are there many women in your profession? If not, why do you think this is?
I haven’t experienced many women in similar roles inside or outside of work. I think this could partly be due to the traditional perception of data and development type roles being male dominated and having a lack of appeal to women. Hopefully this can change by demonstrating a wider range of roles to young people in school and making classes more captivating and accessible to everyone.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organisations?
In any role I think having an idea of what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there can help with progression. Allowing those goals to change with circumstances can also help, if an opportunity comes along that wasn’t in the plan, the plan can be altered, similarly if you have a setback don’t let it put you off your end goal.
What is one business lesson you’ve learned in your career
In roles that are heavily reliant on technology which evolves and changes rapidly, constantly improving my skills has been essential.
As a woman in business, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
I think the only barrier is how much effort I am prepared to put in to get to where I want to be. So far, a lot of self-learning and extra courses have helped me get to where I am now. If I want to continue on to new challenges I need to keep pushing myself to create opportunities.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
To be confident in your ability and allow your personality to be a part of what you do.
What advice would you share with young women entering a male-dominated profession?
“To not be phased by the notion of a male-dominated profession, your skills and performance will demonstrate your suitability for the role regardless of gender or any other characteristic.”
Rachel is passionate about retail and the ever-changing retail technology environment, with a keen eye for upcoming retail trends that are set to shake up the sector.