In this episode, Jason speaks to Sadiqah Musa the founder of Black in Data about creating opportunities for black people in data.
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It is no secret that people of colour are underrepresented in the field of data. Black In Data is an organisation that provides support, mentorship and training to help level the playing field, even though there is still a long way to go until there is true equal opportunity for all races in data.
[00:50] Sadiquah’s journey from geophysics and how she discovered data while on a 2 year sabbatical
[06:20] What Sadiquah’s experience in the data field has been like
[09:00] Challenges that people of colour face when it comes to data and how Sadiquah’s organisations assists with these challenges
[16:22] What prompted Sadiquah to create Black in Data
[20:42] How Black in Data grew to over 8000 members in just 2 years
[23:30] Improving opportunities for everyone in data
[28:11] Why soft skills should be developed especially in the field of data
In the data industry, people of colour are underrepresented. Despite making up a large proportion of the population, they hold few leadership positions and are often faced with many barriers to entry. This needs to change. We need to create opportunities for people of colour in order to better reflect our society and improve our ability to make informed decisions. By diversifying the data industry, we can benefit from a wider range of perspectives and ideas, which will lead to better outcomes for everyone.
People of colour often feel isolated and unsupported in fields that are dominantly white and there is no question that this is the case in the field of data. This can be discouraging and isolating for people of colour who work in data science who are unable to see people like them already ahead of them in the field.
Black in Data is working to change the underrepresentation of people of colour in data. They are a non-profit organisation that has grown to over 8000 members during the pandemic. They support people of colour in data science through networking, education, and mentorship. Their goal is to create a more inclusive data community, where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
You can visit their website here: https://www.blackindata.co.uk/
In data science, we often focus on the hard skills: coding, statistics, machine learning. But no matter how knowledgeable you are about data, if you can’t effectively communicate with others, your impact will be limited. Whether you’re working with a team of data experts or trying to explain your work to a non-technical manager, soft-skills such as strong communication are essential. Networking and groups play an important role in helping people with this.
People of colour are underrepresented in the tech industry. There are many people of colour who are not given the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with the world. This is due, in part, to a lack of diversity in the tech industry. Organisations such as Black In Data are vital in creating equal opportunities for people of colour to get a foothold and climb within the industry. By providing the right support, we can create a more inclusive tech industry that benefits everyone.