Confidence, curiosity & courage: Flourishing in data as a black woman

Photo of two black women working together on a laptop

The dynamism of the tech industry and its capacity to improve lives and effect positive change has inspired me to pursue data science – to design algorithms, build machines and extract and showcase the value of data, to use it for a good purpose. However, despite my love of the tech industry, I am conscious that it is an industry that needs to solve its undeniable diversity and inclusion problem – something that, as a black woman, I am particularly affected by and motivated to change.

It has been uplifting to experience the reality of an inclusive, diverse, and collaborative culture as part of the first data science cohort at Digital Futures, where being from a ‘non-traditional’ or underrepresented background is not a barrier to prospering in the tech industry.

The message I want to deliver to anyone considering working in technology, is that passion, curiosity, love for learning and resilience already qualify you as someone for whom a technological career is a viable option.

I encourage everyone to recognise the unique inherent value of diverse identities and embrace them into the frameworks of data solution processes. From diagnostic healthcare AI to financial applications, we all deserve to be included as a matter of equal priority, rather than a corrective afterthought. We deserve to benefit equally from the exciting changes that are happening, trusting we are represented in an environment of inclusion rather than tokenism.

Having the courage to speak up and question, the confidence to influence and the curiosity to innovate are integral to how I intend to work and live as a black woman in data, achieving highly and creating positive impact throughout my career in technology. I hope that I will see and feel drastic shifts to a new normal of fellow black women entering and flourishing in technology, with access to opportunities that equally recognise, empower, and promote us to executive positions of leadership, as respected and influential voices in the room.

I look forward to continuing to be involved with Digital Futures in their mission to support, include, and empower black women and other underrepresented groups into the technology industry – an industry calling for progress to achieving the assurance of experiencing safe and unbiased working environments, creating products that will support our needs equally in the global mission to positively revolutionise society.