Women in Analytics

I can’t believe the conversation I had this morning with the youngest chappie on our Digital Analytics team. I was discussing some upcoming guest blog posts I am currently working on for Bloovi and for Bizcover, the entrepreneurial blog of BNP Paribas Fortis. It evolved around ‘women in analytics‘ and his comments just drove me through the roof :

  • Yes, but there aren’t that many women in technical directions like ICT and Computer Sciences. Says the guy who has studied communication and is as technical as my shoe laces.
  • Women are stronger in statistics? Says who, your professor at uni? That’s bull. Says the guy who studied communication to the woman who studied civil engineering, applied sciences and mathematics.
  • Well if that’s what women would like to do… Implying we’d rather spend our days darning socks.
  • But there are no women applying for the role of Digital Analyst. Our boss said so… Well maybe then my boss proves to be a little bit biased and misogynistic. Just like the little snot who made these stupid comments.

“Hmmm…” Is al Dorothy answers. “And what exactly does it mean to be a Digital Analyst?”

“Aaagh, incredible ! I get these questions all the time. And even if I explain people still don’t understand. Kay’s brother, Bingo, is such a dear. He knows I’m self-employed and he’s the director for a big building company. He once asked me to make him a website. That’s digital alright. And other than that, he often sends me translation work. Well I do speak English, don’t I ? As it’s all transmitted digitally, I guess that makes me a Digital consultant.” I’m on a rant again.

“Maybe you need to explain your job in more simpler terms.” Dorothy suggests.

“Okay, well take my blog as an example. For a blog that has only just started since a couple of months, I’m doing pretty well. On average I’m getting something like 50 visitors per day. That’s 50 people coming to my blog every day and reading at least one article. The data suggests that most people read 2 articles per visit.” I start out.

“Wow that is indeed very good. 50 people is already quite a gathering. And you’re aiming to grow your audience base, right ?” Dorothy asks me.

“Oh yes, I want to attract people from around the globe to be inspired by my stories and to be a role model.” I go on to explain.

“Can you tell who your readers are?” Dorothy then asks a little alarmed.

“Now a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell.” I wink at her. “But I can tell you that for the moment, most visitors come from the US, the UK and Belgium of course. I also have some loyal followers in Australia, Japan, Finland, Slovakia, Canada, Russia and Peru. Isn’t that wonderful ?”

Whilst I’m at it, a big warm wave “hello” from Belgium to readers all over the globe ! You’re awesome, all of you !

Women in Analytics

“But it is true that this is a mainly pre-dominantly male environment, right ?” Dorothy persists.

“Well yes and no. When you go to Digital Analytics events, there are indeed less women speakers than there are men. In the teams I have worked, I have indeed encountered less women than men. But in Online Marketing and in Conversion Optimisation, there’s a fairly even split between both sexes. So go figure what might be causing the gender gap.” I ponder.

“Maybe it seems too much like an IT job. Or maybe it just doesn’t sound sexy enough.” Dorothy offers.

“Could be. Anyway, together with a couple of françaises I am doing my best to promote ‘Women in Analytics’. The movement is already big in the States, but not yet so in Europe. We’re lagging behind, my sisters. What is this ?!” I sound outraged.

“Oh really ? That sounds fantastic. What’s the plan ” Dorothy is just as enthusiastic about women’s issues as I am.

“The françaises ladies are planning a series of interviews with women already active in Digital Analytics. I am one of the people they want to interview.” I am proud to announce.

“Oh taking interviews now, that sounds grand !” Dorothy exclaims. “What kind of things are they going to ask ? Where will it be published ? And how did you get in contact ?”

So many questions, but I like that. Let me answer them one by one.

Questions for the Women in Analytics interview :

  • describe the profession of Digital Analyst
  • how did you start out as a Web Analyst ?
  • why do you love data ?
  • what do you love about your job ? and what don’t you like about it ?
  • your vision on the market and how it will evolve
  • your advice to people who would like to launch themselves in this field

Where will the interview article be published ?

To be honest, I don’t know which platforms my French colleagues will launch the interview on. However, I have told them I would like to translate at least my interview to Dutch and distribute it via the platforms of Bloovi.be to reach a wide audience of online marketing consultants in Belgium.

How did I get in contact ?

Long story cut short. I had contacted Bloovi.be for two reasons. I had recently read articles about their direct collaboration with Google and the success story of Digital Masters Academy. It’s an initiative to educate young people in higher education about online marketing and all things digital. I love to spontaneously share my knowledge with the world, and having tutored myself at Thomas Moore and at Solvay ULB, this was an opportunity I at least proactively wanted to follow up on. That and I wanted to guest blog on the Bloovi.be platform. You have to build your online fame, you know.

“Wow, you sure know how to network and chase your opportunities.” Dorothy remarks.

“I don’t think it’s really chasing. I am clear about what I love and what I am passionate about. When I read things that are directly related to what I want to do, and en plus it is with people or organisations with whom I have a connection, there is no harm in asking for what you want. In the worst case it is just a pleasant conversation and nothing more.

In this case so far, I have already written two very successful blog posts about Digital Analytics for Bloovi.be, ànd I am in direct contact with Google in regards to tutoring for the Digital Masters Academy. It’s a dream come true !” I ramble on.

“And you get to light the fire and spark the interest of young women for Digital Analytics whilst your at it ! You’re really fulfilling your personal legend here.” Dorothy is excited for me.

“I know. This is what makes my life meaningful and gives me great satisfaction too.” I try my best not to sound too smug.

“Darling, you do know you’re going places, don’t you ?” Dorothy looks at me proudly.

And yes, I would indeed like to think so.


What do you think ? Is there value in creating ‘Women in Analytics’ ? And why do you think there are less women than men in this profession ? Let me know in the comments below.







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