By Elaine Kwok
On March 8th, 2022, Women’s International Day (IWD), Women in Big Data (WiBD) hosted an IWD celebration featuring a fireside chat with two distinguished female leaders and launching a global mentoring program. This year’s IWD 2022 theme was “BreaktheBias” (#IWD2022 #BreakTheBias), and folks were welcomed by key sponsors and ambassador videos pledging “I’m the Solution. Join us to #Endbias”.
To drum up the beat for Women’s History Month, WiBD has commemorated women who have supported women by shining a light on distinguished volunteers on 2021 “Wall of Fame”. Not only must we acknowledge that gender inequality struggle is in fact real, we must take action. That action can be through learning, sharing success or stories, or training; it can be through mentoring, as a mentor or mentee, or finding or becoming allies; or it can be by acknowledging differences that can not only make one unique, but also serve as a means to differentiate.
Since the initial co-founding WiBD team met in 2015, WiBD has grown to over 17,000 members and 41 chapters around the world. Our goal is by 2025 to have 50,000 members join us in our vision and mission to inspire, connect, learn, and lead. This year in 2022, Deborah Sgro, Global Mentoring Director, WiBD Advisory Board Member, launched our flagship mentoring program.
Our IWD celebration is an example of an event to #BreaktheBias. “Be the change you wish to see in the world” are inspiring words from Huma Abidi, Senior Director AI, Intel Corporation. Huma discussed how it is important to acknowledge unconscious biases along the entire data pipeline. Brad Burke, Chief Engineering and Data Office, American Family Insurance, talked about how allies can empower and #BreaktheBias by simply “handing over the pen”. In addition, Ambassador Elena Fedotova, Director WiBD EMEA Russia, talked about how “biases” are often mental shortcuts, and that we simply must take action. Ambassador Sowmya Moni, Co-Director of South Asia, India, also leading by example pledged “I’m the Solution. Join us to #Endbias”.
Our featured fireside chat was moderated by Shuchi Rana, WiBD Board Member. Audrey Cavenecia, Chief Content Officer and Podcast Producer at Amplify Voices touched on leadership, management, and culture topics such as Imposter-Syndrome Solutions, Why Caring Changies the Outcome of Performance, Everyday Well-Being: Sleep, Rest, and Renewal, Conflict De-Escalation Techniques, Microaggressions in the Workplace, Why Being Unprofessional is Trending, Empowering Your Team and the Great Resignation, Burnout, Overwhelm and Exhaustion, and Acknowledgement is a Superpower with your Teams. “Be consistent with your purpose,” is what she advises. “Curiosity” can be a disruptor to bias, simply by asking questions; asking questions can open doors.
Julian Guthrie, Founder and CEO, Alphy, New York Times Best-Selling Author, discussed topics including Pay Disparities and Progress or Lack of, Career Pivots, Work-Life Balance, Future of Work for Women, Winning Mindset for Women, The Role of Women in Tech (AI, AR, Venture, etc.), and Burnout remedies. She recommended that we can “redefine”: “Kindness is a strength, not a weakness.” You can join the Alphy by downloading Alphy for Apple or Android (use the invite code wkwchcpvpi to sign up). Alphy and Women in Big Data are partnering to bring users access to a new, by-invitation-only platform for advancing women and non-binary people.
To honor the IWD’22 theme #BreaktheBias – ask yourself how can you lead through inclusion and create unification. How can you redefine and live your truth transparently to #Breakthe Bias?
Here is how YOU can join us to #Endbias and be part of the solution:
- Share with a friend something new you learned today.
- If you believe in the WiBD cause for gender quality and solidarity, join us (LinkedIn Group Forum: Women in Big Data) and become a member. Join a chapter — or start a chapter.
- Consider helping someone on their journey, or get guidance in your journey by finding a mentee or becoming a mentor. The WiBD New Mentoring Program Registration begins March, 2022. Apply now here.
- Consider an optional WiBD tax-deductible donation of any amount, if you wish to give thanks to volunteer events such as this, or contribute our Mentoring Program, Leadership Development Program, or future AI Bootcamp. Donate to our cause.
To listen to this event’s recording, click here.
To view presentation, click here.