Analytics as an Equalizer: Creating a “We Culture”

December 17th, 2019

This article is by Olivia Duane Adams and originally appeared on the Alteryx Analytics Blog here:


Everything starts with a story. There was a time, not too long ago, when it was incredibly rare to see women pursue careers in science and technology and while we still see women underrepresented in these areas, women are taking a stronger foothold in mathematics and analytics. Women hold only about 26% of data jobs in the United States but we are witnessing a change in tide as diversity grows within the chief data officer (CDO) role. Gartner expects the proportion of female CDO’s to increase to 33% by 2021 — up from 18% today. This progress began with pioneers in the field and continues to grow as we foster meaningful mentorships in the workplace and encourage young women to pursue STEM majors. At Alteryx, we are committed to not only being participants in this change, but proactive drivers.

Every woman in technology has their own story to share about how they got there, the triumphs they accomplished and how they overcame challenges in the face of gender inequality. As a result, our collective story is starting to change and conversations around diversity and inclusion are shifting from the context of “social good” to the context of business-critical. According to The National Center for Women & Information Technology, “gender diversity positively correlates with better innovation and increased business performance. Increasing the number of women in technology and computing also has the potential to improve the design of products and services to better serve a more diverse population.” Imagine the lack of originality in a group of people who all think exactly alike. It is important to have voices from a variety of backgrounds to develop the most innovative ideas.

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Have you ever been an “only” in your office? The only woman? The only mother? The only person of a particular ethnicity or sexual orientation? It can feel isolating, but it does not have to and it is important to use our diverse backgrounds as strengths and use our voices to foster innovation. According the Harvard Business Review, “leaders who give diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights, and employees in a “speak up” culture are 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential.” It starts and ends with culture and that culture cannot rely on one gender, one race, one way of thinking to advocate for equality. We need to create a “we culture” that focuses on inclusion and embraces change.