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Women in Big Data USA Non-Profit Launch, 12/1/20

Regina Karson, WiBD Board Member

WiBD launched the USA Non-Profit Women in Big Data (WiBD on Giving Tuesday). Elaine Kwok was the MC. She started with a welcome message, review of the agenda and shared a Pink Lady recipe to toast the event.

A short video that highlighted WiBD around the globe was shown followed with a message from Michael Greene, original executive sponsor of WiBD.

We then had a Welcome from Radhika Rangarajan, Co-Founder and WiBD Board Member. Radhika reflected on the WiBD journey from 15 women meeting in June of 2015 to figure out how to get more women into STEM fields to now in December 2020 whereby WiBD has 17K+ members in six continents. Radhika also discussed the donation capability on site and different ways to donate. 

Ryann Foelker, WiBD Board Advisor discussed WiBD renewed vision and mission: 

A future in which gender and resources don’t limit equitable participation in big data-influenced careers.

With Mission:
Cultivate tangible opportunities for women; unlock latent potential through accessible training, act as a catalyst for advancement with thought leadership promotion and empower equity allies of any gender with inclusive mentorship programing.

Shuchi Rana, WiBD Silicon Valley Chapter Co-Director moderated the panel discussion with Audrey Cavenecia, Chief Content Officer for Pete Carroll Media Co. and Julien Guthrie, Founder and CEO Mindset Alpha.

Q1- Please introduce yourself:

Audrey: German Mom and Father from South America gave Audrey a perspective on what it is to be American. Audrey started in the arts as a performer, went into executive training and is a single parent. She experienced a paradigm shift when she met a producing partner of George Lucas. Audrey then started an agency and had Larry Ellison as a client. She helped launch a biotech company Science 37. Audrey currently works on new narratives around diversity and inclusion with Pete Carroll’s company and launched Amplify Voices to give diverse voices a podcast platform. 

Julian: believes in the power of sisterhood networks and men are inclusive. She has a storytelling background, was a journalist at the SF Chronicle for 20 yrs., wrote five nonfiction books. Her 4th book is Alpha Girls and is about women who faced barriers and succeeded in the VC world, an industry dominated by men. She wrote How to Make a Spaceship: where are the women?  For Alpha Girls, VCs: data and number then 94% VC’s were male and 2% money to women, she looked at 6%VC trail blazers, conducted 6K interviews.  Currently she closed seed for her startup- Mindset Alpha = platform to retain talent. 

Q2- “Purpose is really a practice” what does that mean to you and how can one be more mindful about incorporating that into their being and doing: 

Audrey: purpose is a practice – how to be more mindful – life is not a win-lose -paradigm measured by achieving as nature is more nuanced: the I am not enough voice. Purpose exists in this moment – listen to your true self or not what you should do, etc. In a study trees grew to a point in an isolated environment and then collapsed. It was discovered that the trees discovered needed wind to force to fight for itself to become strong and thrive- purpose is in the moment and listen to self – stop looking at others and then have the courage to honor self and speak up to be heard- you will become less uncomfortable and align with true self as you practice- practice listening to self. 

Julian: self-care is finding your purpose- she loves being in over her head- advance self and the world. How men and women succeed: risk taking (women need to take more risks- our upbringing stymies us) perfectionism is our enemy. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable – seeking promotion- negotiating salary, etc. Women and caregiving (heavy thing women carry and can derail women- second shift for women) C-19 made it worse. Women need to delegate and ask for help – enabled by overcompensation for lazy partners. Society expects care taking be on women and that we have to navigate this expectation. 

Q3:A lot of us at some point, especially women, have suffered from imposter syndrome, how does one manage these self limiting beliefs that hold us back. How do we unlearn what we have been conditioned to believe and get out of our own way 

Audrey: imposter syndrome – truth = my purpose like fundraising – cannot be creative while in survival mode so doesn’t buy into imposter syndrome.

Julian: Don Thompson, former CEO of McDonalds is black from the projects and focus is not on being a black CEO. He focuses on how he succeeded.  Julian brings the good stuff v. buying into imposter syndrome as is a form of oppression. Julian is now Founder and CEO of VC backed SaaS co. Advice: make yourself invaluable, specialize, become part of the team, practice Kaizen, don’t take shortcuts. Julian wrote every day for 20 years and as a skills building discipline.  

Q and A:

Q-What is Julian’s advice for a Jr in college? 

Julian: network is important – intern programs – connections are key – LI and other networks – women in field of interest – on demand certification good – hone expertise – remote work- connect w/Julian re: platform she is launching.

Audrey: Do you experience resistance when you are leading men? And if so, how do you handle it? 

Audrey: Yes, men always resist – get to know a person, don’t take it personally – ask questions – making personal connections is good – you get more done if kinder to people – relationships are everything, bridge commonality.

Q- Where to focus going up the ladder?

Julian: need to be own champion- advocate for self – ask for more money w/supporting data. 

Audrey: learn to lead before you get promoted – study leadership – communicate – manage conflict and learn more than you should know.

Here is the link to the presentation in PDF format.

Here is the link to the recording. Thank you all for a great event.

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