WiBD spoke with Cecile Boyeka , Women in Big Paris Chapter Director. Cecile is truly a remarkable individual with a diverse background. Cecile shares her career journey, highlighting transitions from TV to Tech and Finance, emphasizing the importance of continuous self-improvement and staying at the forefront of industry trends. Cecile expresses strong support for elevating women, crediting her success to a network of inspiring mentors. She encourages more women to pursue data careers for innovation and diversity’s sake. Lastly, her motivation lies in embracing change and stepping out of her comfort zone.
WiBD: Who is Cecile Boyeka?
As an international business leader specializing in Finance and technology, I am passionate about driving Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency innovation. I also serve as the Paris Chapter Director of Women in Big Data and a member of 100 Women in Finance and Women in ETFs, non-profit organizations that advance diversity and leadership development.
WiBD: Tell us about your career journey.
I moved from TV to Tech and then Finance. Each step in my career journey has contributed to my growth and shaped me into the professional I am today. My passion for financial innovation drives me to continuously seek self-improvement and stay at the forefront of industry trends.
WiBD: Do you have advice to give to others who are thinking about their career choices?
I’d suggest starting by discovering your “ikigai”. This Japanese concept underscores the importance of finding the intersection between what you love to do, what you’re skilled at, what the world needs, and what you can earn a living from. This insight can be invaluable in guiding you along your journey.
WiBD: Can you tell us why you have been supportive of women and help to elevate them?
It’s important to have a strong support system. I humbly give back to others what I have received professionally and personally from the incredible women and men who have trusted, guided, inspired, and encouraged me throughout my career. The list is too long to name them all, but I want to express my sincere gratitude again. They have been, and continue to be, my role models.
WiBD: How did you learn about Women in Big Data and what has been your engagement with the organization?
I learned about Women in Big Data six years ago during an event organized by the Paris Chapter in France. Today, I am honored and grateful to serve as the Director, working alongside an astonishing and talented team. My involvement spans various activities, including collaborating with external organizations and orchestrating workshops and webinars to support and empower women in the tech industry. I also participate as a speaker at conferences to share experiences, insights, and guidance to foster positive change.
WiBD: What are the unique challenges for Women in your region, and how could WiBD help to overcome them as much as possible?
I believe these challenges are not unique to my region but are commonly shared by women worldwide:
However, without action, inertia persists. Being part of the WiBD community is already a step toward tackling these challenges, aligning you with like-minded individuals in pursuing diversity, and empowering you to drive meaningful change.
WiBD: How does big data (or simply data) play a role in your career?
In today’s world, data’s versatile applications drive numerous advancements. As stated by The Economist in 2017, “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. Among other things, I leverage it for strategic decision-making, including market trend analysis, risk management, and optimizing ROI. Its significance amplifies with advancing technology across industries.
WiBD: Why should more women take an interest in Data careers?
Women’s interest in data careers can drive innovation, bridge the gender gap, and offer unique perspectives. Additionally, they can inspire the upcoming generation and promote leadership roles. A gender-diverse workforce benefits businesses and society as data skills become increasingly essential in the digital age.
WiBD: What motivates you?
My passion for whatever I set out to do motivates me, specifically when it comes to working in an international environment. While some people may be afraid of change, I embrace it. This allows me to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone continually.
WiBD: What bothers you?
Considering what I mentioned earlier, it’s the routine.
WiBD: Any quotes or inspirations that you live by?
There are different quotes and inspirations that I live by. It all depends on the situation. In concluding this interview, Condoleezza Rice’s words resonate strongly with me:
“It’s good to have female or minority role models. But the important thing is to have mentors who care about you, and they come in all colors”.