March 2022 Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Happy Women’s Day and Women’s history month!!
We have a lot to be proud of as women in tech and a lot to work against to gain our equality and deserved status in the largely male-dominated tech world, and the larger world too.
I heard the phrase – ‘Lift as we climb’…referring to our ability to support and nurture other people’s talent from former DPWIT lead Rie Merritt. Her talk on this delivered last year at a DPWIT event is here. That phrase summarizes our mission here on the Data Platform WIT group. This year our goal is to help highlight lesser-known women in tech by doing monthly chat interviews. Our monthly interview for February 2022 with Julie Koesmarno is here. We talked at length on Julie’s blog post on what it means to be ‘technical’. It was a great discussion and worth listening to for anyone planning to interview or get interviewed in a technical role.

We also want to highlight a great gesture by SQL Server MVP Glenn Berry for Women’s History month – he is donating a computer he built to an eligible woman who has good use for it..details on his blog post here. Consider participating. Thank you Glenn!

We are also planning a mental health day on April 8th – this was received really well last year and we have some amazing submissions this year – amazing, inspiring stories of personal courage and persistence through many difficult challenges. We will be publishing the schedule soon – watch our Twitter feed on @data_wit.
The list of women speaking at data events from now until March 2022, painstakingly compiled by Deepthi, can be found here. This list will be updated every quarter.
Want to keep up with the group? You can also find us on Twitter @data_wit, Facebook, Meetup, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Best Regards

Mala & Leslie

Mala’s musings – Emotional intelligence and its place

Among the most common generalizations made against women is that we are ‘too emotional’ for jobs that require clear-headed thinking and decision-making. When I was growing up this was everywhere – in homes, in media, in workplaces. The idea that women have more ’emotions’ than men do, that emotions are somehow only needed for mushy, sentimental reasons and we can function at work without them and so on are very old, but they still exist and are used a lot. When someone says you are ‘too emotional’ – it was (and many times is, even now) a negative accusation. Generally, people who make these accusations tend to think emotions are a sign of weakness and make no differentiation between someone having them and acting on them.
I heard of the term ’emotional intelligence in the late 90s when the best-selling book by Daniel Goleman made it popular. It referred to the ability to harness the power of emotions and develop skills with it – important skills such as empathy and understanding. Today, the importance of emotional intelligence is widely recognized. A lot of jobs including several data jobs actually require empathy and understanding as key skills. Emotions are an integral part of who we are and instead of denying them or branding someone negative for having them – we can use them instead to make good decisions and create a culture of empathy and harmony. The test on this link actually helps us understand and evaluate how we work with emotions and get better at them. It has helped me a lot. We, as women, can say proudly that we are actually better at this than men are because that is usually true. When someone calls me ‘too emotional’ response is ‘yeah, it is a great resource and I know how to use it !’