International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere and is recognised globally.
To celebrate the occasion, we asked some of the inspiring women in our network to share what IWD means to them. One of those people was Nyala Noë , Senior Data Scientist at Empirisys, a start-up that offers data science solutions to high-hazard industry.
She told us:
“I head up the data science function in our team and my main responsibilities include delivering data science projects for our clients and managing our growing data science team.
For me, acknowledging International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to take stock of what we as women, have achieved so far, and to gain awareness of all the battles that still need to be fought.
Only 50 years ago, it was not self-evident at all for women to be independent and build their own careers, not to mention all the hardships women around the world still face, to be recognised as equals.
When it comes to having a female role model Nyala said:
“I always felt like I have lots of role models around me, with a wide variety of behaviours, philosophies and ways of looking at the world that I find inspiring. My mother is my role model for her kindness, my sister is my role model for the way she stands up for herself without hesitation, my friend is my role model for her feminist ideals.”
The STEM sector has traditionally attracted more men than women to the field, but changes are happening on an organisational and industry level. Nyala told us about the changes she’s seen during her career.
“I think the fact that I am not often reminded about the fact that I am a woman in a male dominated field. This is, in part, a testament to the culture we are trying to promote at Empirisys and the colleagues that I have the pleasure of working with every day. I am optimistic about the future of women in tech, while being aware that there is still work to be done, including in my own company.
I think that every person in the company is responsible for contributing to gender equality. It can be easy to look the other way or become complacent about sexism (or other forms of discrimination) at the workplace, especially if they are subtle. It’s easy to go against someone who is blatantly sexist or racist, but it has still happened that subtler forms of sexism get dismissed because they are not immediately obvious. Employers need to be role models in this space and set examples of the sort of behaviours that we would expect from all colleagues.”