Women at 84.51° are working to close the gender gap in data science through 84.51°'s forward-thinking Women In Tech group


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84.51° Women In Tech group supports women in data science

84.51° Women In Tech group supports women in data science

Data science is a key area for job growth. It’s a multidisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data - and the use of innovative technology plays a very significant role.

Beth Giglio, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at 84.51° (pictured above) discusses with Where Women Work why the company’s Women In Tech subcommittee was formed and how the group is working to help close the gender gap in data science.

Women in Tech helps represent women in data science

As a company providing insights from data derived from the entire gamut of Kroger customers, diversity and inclusion in our company culture is more than just the right thing to do, it is critical to ensuring we garner the right insights from our customer data.  

It’s no secret that women are not equally represented in the field of data science. However, instead of accepting that at 84.51°, we wanted to better understand why that is and what we could do to combat this trend.

We researched the topic, hosted panel discussions and focus groups and identified the challenges faced by women in the field of technology, and the Women in Tech subcommittee, part of our Women’s EDGE Associate Resource Group, was formed.

Meehee Kosmala and Jyotsna Sharma are the two 84.51° female leaders who started Women in Tech, not only to bring more women data scientists and engineers to 84.51°, but to affect the tech industry overall. After listening to their peers talk about the challenges women face, they proposed their plan of action to company executives.

“I have been astounded at how supportive our leadership has been with Women in Tech,” says Jyotsna. “It’s an amazing thing for a company like 84.51° to get behind a movement like this.”

“Our leaders were very receptive and told us to run with it,” adds Meehee. “They realize that something needs to be done to promote talented women technologists.”

Women in Tech at 84.51

Women in Tech at 84.51° has an exciting brief

The Women in Tech group has three important goals it is setting out to achieve:

Providing mentorship - We set up peer-to-peer support networks and coach both ways, up and down. We’re there to support and help each other set tangible goals. Then we hold each other accountable to stick to these goals and achieve them.

Building members’ technical brands - Too often, when there’s only one to two women on a team, they get delegated the non-technical responsibilities. We help each other get assigned to the projects we’re qualified for, and be recognized for our technical achievements.

Awareness and community outreach - We conduct outreach to the community at all ages from middle school to college to demystify the field of data science, and show young women that it’s not just about math and coding. We hope we can connect with young people in the formative years of their educational careers to steer them toward a data science path.

The core function of Women in Tech is to empower women. Female scientists and engineers often find themselves the only women in the classroom, or at industry events - and this can be daunting for a young scientist or technologist just entering into the field. Women in Tech provides mentorship and fellowship to these young scientists to encourage them to carry on, as well as advanced leadership training opportunities to help them succeed on their path upwards.

Women in tech data science

Women in Tech drives benefits for women at 84.51°

The strongest evidence of our culture of diversity and inclusion is in the strong talent and successes of the female members of our data science, & technology teams.

Rachael Hadaway started at the company almost 14 years ago. She said “yes” to every project assigned to her, eventually working her way up to Senior Vice President and Head of Product of 84.51°.

“Women in Tech is really helping to bridge the gender gap in our industry,” says Rachael. “By creating a group that helps women data scientists & technologists feel like they’re not alone, I feel encouraged that we’ll be able to continue to recruit and grow from within.”

Jillian Payne found her place with the company as in intern in 2008, where her desire to learn how to code and customize data to derive insights made her a prime candidate for 84.51°’s graduate development program. Today, as Director of Data Science, she’s in charge of the program and works to foster a community of continued learning.

“I’m encouraged to see the steadily increasing amount of female applicants to the graduate development program,” says Jillian. “It’s important to our results as well, as we need the diverse thoughts on our team to be able to put our best data science forward and think through the nuances and differences in experience that each Kroger customer will have.”

Women in Tech committee

84.51° has a continuous focus on gender equality

Women in Tech is just one of 84.51°’s ventures to help even the field for women technologists. It is hoped that by having these conversations now, 84.51° can impact today’s youth before they decide on a career path – and tomorrow’s female data scientists and technologists will gain equal representation around the meeting table.

Kick-start a data tech career with 84.51°

84.51° is proud to help drive inclusion for everyone and is always keen to hear from women interested in data technology and innovation.

There is no better time than today to search and apply for an exciting job with 84.51°.

 

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