Cloudera uses data to drive diversity and inclusion efforts

Cloudera uses data to drive diversity and inclusion efforts

 February 16, 2021

During Cloudera's virtual event Cloudera Now, CEO Rob Bearden sat down with renowned civil rights activist and former chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Dr. Mary Frances Berry, to discuss how data can bolster diversity and help drive inclusion

“It is clear that the diversity and inclusion project that we have all been engaged in has not been as effective as we hoped,” said Mary Frances. That inertia can be traced back to inefficient and unproductive use of data. 

Failing to define characteristics of underserved communities 

According to Mary Frances, society in general and organizations in particular do a lot of talking about underserved communities, but fail to define those communities and their different characteristics, leading to generalization and a lack of specific action.

Data is regularly, broadly aggregated instead of appreciated for its differences. For example, Mary Frances referenced a study on admissions at elite schools that found they had grouped all black students together, American and foriegn, into the same category. It had done the same for all latino students. 

What the universities missed in this generalized categorization are the diverse concerns that groups of people from different places and backgrounds have, despite sharing racial classifications they are not all similar. Mary Frances also cited how Native Americans are inclined to concentrate on tribal sovereignty while other indigenous groups tend to prioritize nationalist issues, however, women spread across all groups focus on their issues with patriarchy.

Batching demographic groups together dilutes the data, removing its specific value and makes actionable insights harder and less successful. 

Being more honest, more actionable, and more successful in driving change

Mary Frances believes that we need to disaggregate data in order to be more honest, more actionable and more successful in driving change. 

“We need to dive deeper, but also dive more effectively by looking at the disaggregated group data and their characteristics," she explains.

If companies begin to discover actionable insights from the rich detail of their diversity and inclusion data, and clearly communicate their intentions and plans, “diversity and inclusion can be made to work,” she adds,

Rob agreed, “we can’t be satisfied with just a high level view of data. We need to be able to drive into the storm of data. Pull it apart. Have the specificity to find the hidden gems to glean the real insights. This is how we can use data to move our businesses forward and make positive social change.”

Redefining diversity and inclusion efforts within Cloudera

Cloudera is redefining the diversity and inclusion efforts within its own company.

Firstly, Cloudera has created the position of Chief Diversity Officer promoting Sarah Shin to the role.

Cloudera has also started a Technology and Equality Consortium and a Diversity Center of Excellence. Most importantly, these initiatives will be driven by data and analytics. Cloudera believes that only through data can it discover the insights that lead quickly to action to create a more equitable world.

Insightful presentations by Cloudera women

Data is critical in the pursuit of diversity and organizational effectiveness. And when it comes to data, the women at Cloudera possess considerable knowledge and experience. 

Cloudera Now is a virtual event that shares what companies can do more with their data using Cloudera Data Platform. Participants can see demos and technical deep-dives and virtually engage with subject matter experts, product managers, industry experts, and customers.

The Cloudera Now event agenda sees a number of sessions led by talented Cloudera women.

Securing and governing data - This session is lead by Ana Gillan, Cloudera Senior Solutions Engineer [pictured below] explaining how to secure and govern data from Edge to AI.

Anna Gillan

Demo session with Cloudera Data Engineering - This sees Sruthi Mohan, Solutions Engineer at Cloudera [pictured below] conduct a demo session with Cloudera Data Engineering (CDE).


Business value of an enterprise data cloud session - This is presented by Cindy Maike, Cloudera Vice President of Industry Solutions [pictured below] discussing the business value of an enterprise data cloud.

Cloudera data

Join Cloudera and be part of a company driven by diversity and inclusion

At Cloudera a great opportunity iawaits, working with the best and brightest in the industry.

Find your place with this leading data company.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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

Share this page:

Join our women's careers community