2019: A Look Back…and Looking Forward to 2020

By Radhika Rangarajan

I wanted to write this retrospective during the Thanksgiving holidays in November…but every time I attempted to write something down, I was overwhelmed. No, it was not just about the deadline to finish this article; upon further introspection, I realized it was the fear that I was not going to be able to capture all that we had accomplished as a community in one blog. I was going to leave some accomplishment out or forget to acknowledge some amazing community member. Now that I’ve confessed to the reasoning behind my tardiness, let me get to the point…

2019 has been one heck of a year…. Our family has expanded and continues to grow its impact around the globe!

  • From a handful of members in June 2015, we are now a soaring community of 15,000 members spanning across 5 continents and 25 chapters!
  • With a global vision—but keen on meeting local community needs—our Toronto and South Africa chapters became official Non-Profit Legal Entities.
  • 30+ workshops/events were held worldwide across multiple chapters.
  • This has been one of our strongest years for support from corporate sponsors and partners. We added seven more sponsors/partners to our list.
  • We have encouraged leadership rotations across our Executive Committees and Chapter leadership roles, enabling new leaders and ideas to propel our community forward.

That’s a lot to be thankful for…. What makes our community special is the Unity in our Diversity; we have been united in our vision and driven by our passion to champion equality, empowerment and inclusiveness in our communities. Together, we have achieved a huge amount this year, and not least of those significant achievements has been to reach the 15K membership milestone. CONGRATULATIONS!

As we look forward to 2020, change is, as ever, a constant. I’m sure each of the chapter leads will go through their goals and priorities but our global community’s focus will be:

  • CONNECT – Embrace and cultivate a community of diverse women in Big Data…
  • GROW – Build, educate, and inspire our community of women…
  • INSPIRE and INFLUENCE key partners across our community.

These are not different goals; this is what we started with in 2015, and our aspirations continue to be the same…. The World Economic Forum released the Global Gender Gap report for 2020 and the statistics are sobering. We have so much more to do, and we are just getting started. In the words of Maya Angelou…”My (Our) mission in Life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style”.

Radhika Rangarajan

If you’ve read this far, then thank you! Now, go celebrate with your community volunteers. That’s what I will be doing this Friday: a celebration lunch with my Bay Area WIBD sistas!

Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Yuletide/Saturnalia, and Happy New Year.

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