The other half of the data sky

I was complaining to the editor recently about the lack of female voices in the data industry press. The same male faces are featured regularly, but where are the ladies in our industry hiding?

I’ve been gathering views on this from some of my female peers. One theory is that the over-exposure of the “top dogs” is to blame. But then there are plenty of high-flying women around. So can we point the finger of blame at some “old boys’ network” which means that they are better connected and are actively courted for their opinions? Or does it simply come down to the old adage that men are more comfortable with self-promotion, while women are happier getting on with the day job?

Whatever the reason, it would be refreshing to hear from a more diverse selection of contributors. More women, certainly, but it would also be interesting to hear from those on the front line doing the stuff that the MDs only talk about.

The issue for most of us (multi-tasking career women included) is finding the time to read and reflect upon industry publications in order to formulate informed opinions. Perhaps this is why the “old boys” are often best placed to air their views – they don’t need to take time out to do this. They’ve been around the industry for a long time; they know the key players, they know what’s happening and, from their elevated vantage point, can identify new trends a mile off.

They’ve been around the industry for a long time; they know the key players, they know what’s happening and, from their elevated vantage point, can identify new trends a mile off.

Theirs is certainly a view worth capturing. But so is yours, no matter what your level of experience or position. So take time out to keep abreast of industry trends. Think of it as part of your personal development.

Taking this one step further and contributing to the debate benefits you (in terms of raising your profile), your company (by showing their employees to be industry experts), and the industry (by enabling a more rounded debate on current themes). So, assuming both time and your PR department permit, don’t be shy – get your views (and your face) out there!

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