What do you enjoy most about your role as chief data officer for Transport for London?
My role as chief data officer is to make sure that we get the most out of our data by focusing on Transport for London’s key questions and challenges. I love that I get to build new data tools that help Londoners as they travel for work and leisure through our great city. Data is a growing field and one that is perfect for creative and curious minds. This is why I’m passionate about encouraging more people to consider careers in data, especially women, who are typically under-represented in technical fields (both in data and in transport).
Being selected as one of the top ten data practitioners in the UK is an honour and it’s great to have the opportunity to share my love for my work. It’s fantastic to see that four of the chosen top ten are women and I hope that together we can inspire the generation of girls growing up now, who are thinking about their future careers, to see how they can make a difference by working in data.
What is it like being a role model?
I’m proud that I get the chance to highlight the work that I do and serve as a role model. I think it’s important to show the world that there are many different kinds of people who work in the data field. I hope that this can shatter any subconscious misconceptions lurking about, that falsely make people think that tech work and transport work is only for one type of person.
As a woman in data, how did you celebrate International Women’s Day?
At TfL we had a range of different activities taking place all week to celebrate International Women’s Day, building on the Mayor of London’s campaign #BehindEveryGreatCity, which highlights the huge influence women have had and continue to have on making London brilliant. To start the week, to show the capital our support for IWD, we raised an International Women’s Day flag from one of our head offices. We had a range of programmes on that week for our staff (both women and men) to take part in. We held breakfast and lunch sessions with speakers across our organisation, and we held a coding masterclass for our employees.
Personally, I started the week by taking part in the fantastic March 4 Women event, where I joined a choir singing the Pankhurst Anthem (by suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s descendants). I then attended a few networking events that week to celebrate the day and to support women in leadership and specifically in data. And I celebrated International Women’s Day itself by taking part in a TfL speed mentoring session, where I got to support our staff and talk about my career path.
What a fantastic celebration week during a momentous anniversary year!