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84.51° champions women in tech as they challenge convention

84.51° champions women in tech as they challenge convention

 February 05, 2019

84.51° embraces their employees for who they are and encourages everyone to bring their authentic self to work. They strive to have a diverse and inclusive workplace, and they put their words into action.

They’ve implemented several internal groups to help drive change, including Men Advocating for Real Change, Working Parents Groups, Women’s EDGE, and a Diversity and Inclusion Council.

They also founded a program, Power Squad, which hosts classes of minority women to grow their leadership skills, and they have a full-time diversity and Inclusion position which oversees all diversity and inclusion efforts for the company.

But they knew they needed to do more….

Being a data science company, they see the need for women to feel empowered to pursue careers in the areas of STEM. 

Two of their female data scientists, Jyotsna Sharma and Meehee Kosmala, wanted to explore the specific area of “Technology” in STEM to understand how 84.51° could better support women in these roles.

They led focus groups and uncovered several themes, ranging from the need to receive encouragement and mentorship to common challenges like feeling alone, unheard, and under-appreciated.

Jyotsna and Meehee realized that the experiences women technologists must navigate are unique to STEM roles but are also common across all industries and geographies. “It was obvious to us that we had to change the status quo to make 84.51° better than industry standards,” said Jyotsna.

Recommendations for action

Jyotsna and Meehee reviewed industry research, educated themselves on advocacy solutions and made several recommendations to senior leadership, including actively recruiting more women into the tech talent pipeline.

84.51° leadership pushed them to set even more transformational goals for change, leading to the implementation of a “Women in Tech” people-led group.

The group will engage with the community from early childhood through career, conduct and publish research and provide coaching and workshops to help 84.51° women succeed in their careers. “This shows that true change can happen if people will step up to lead the charge,” said Meehee.

Keen to forge your own career in data science?

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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