To celebrate International Women’s Day, throughout March we are putting a spotlight on the brilliant women of Intuita, finding out more about their roles within the business and how they got to where they are today.
In this blog we hear from Jemma Hewitt, our Head of Data Delivery, who tells us about what her role entails, her background in the finance industry, her experience working at Intuita and her thoughts on increasing diversity in the data industry.
Tell us about your role at Intuita:
I lead the Data Delivery function here at Intuita and my responsibilities include looking after a group of incredibly talented individuals, which in all honesty is one of the most pleasurable parts of my role. I’m so honoured to be surrounded by such a diverse group of individuals.
Another part of my role is managing client deliveries and ensuring the ‘Intuita’ approach is maintained throughout. What is the ‘Intuita’ approach? Well, it means delivering with quality, consistency and transparency. It also means doing the right thing and not just following the norm; cutting through the business with curiosity and tenacity to truly understand the challenges faced by our clients. It’s my job to get to the heart of these challenges and provide the best possible outcome for our clients.
How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always been fascinated by data, what it can uncover and how it shapes the world we live in today. Almost every action we take leaves a digital footprint, from online shopping and gaming to taking a photograph or making a phone call. The world is shaped around these footprints, such as adverts on Facebook, which seemly know exactly when you need a new pair of trainers, to targeted promotions in your local retail stores.
Some of my early career experiences actually started in the world of finance – I’ve always been good with numbers and had a keen interest in forecasting. Little did I know I was already embarking on my journey into data!
I worked on a number of supply chain initiatives to drive operational efficiencies and ultimately huge cost savings. It was really the start of my journey; a light just turned on when I discovered what it meant to truly extract the value from data and create real, tangible differences by analysing multiple factors using simplistic techniques. Due to my background in finance, my need for quality and “checks and balances” still sticks with me today. I believe this had a huge impact on my interest in data governance and the need to take the data journey all the way back to its origins, understand the inception of data, the reason for its being and also its subsequent journey through an organisation’s ecosystem. Understanding where it started, where it ended and how it got there is vital to asking the right questions of data to gain the most valuable and accurate insights.
What is the best thing about your job?
I would have to say the people. I feel so honoured to be surrounded by incredible minds and have the opportunity to work alongside some of the best people in their field.
I’ve learnt so much in my 3 year tenure at Intuita and can’t wait for what’s ahead. I’ve always felt valued, in my role now and previous roles at Intuita. The very fact I state previous roles gives an indication of the value I have felt, the opportunities I have been given to grow and evolve and the mentors I have been so privileged to be surrounded by, who provide their time and guidance at every step.
Lastly but certainly not least: our clients. I enjoy the wonderful challenges they bring to us and the wealth of experience I have been exposed to over the last 3 years in working with them, understanding different industries, approaches and drivers that really motivate them and their organisations for change.
Latest research shows that just 28% of Data & Analytics professionals are women – what advice would you give to any women considering a career in the field?
To not be discouraged by statistics and be courageous in turning the dial. A favourite quote of mine from Emma Watson: “We need to live in a culture that values, respects and looks up to and idolises women as much as men”.
I do not believe in having to limit your options on the basis of your gender, or anything else for that matter. That’s absolutely not to say that it isn’t challenging sometimes being the only female in the room. Data & Analytics is such an interesting space, in particular on the importance of diverse views, backgrounds and gender, which can be the key to unlocking the most valuable insights. Having a team with the same mindset, background and/or thought process limits options and prevents growth.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreaktheBias – how do you believe this shows itself in the data/tech industry?
I believe having more women in senior positions will do so much for creating role models for younger women looking to move into this industry. This isn’t about promoting women because of their gender, far from it! This is about recognising their value and not overlooking them due to their gender.
I recently read this Forbes article about research which finds that 23% of working mothers say they have been passed over for a promotion because they have children, 41% of employed Americans perceive working mums to be less devoted to their work, and a third judged them for needing a more flexible schedule. As a proud hard working mum of two young boys aged two and four, I have never felt more opposed to this notion. I work hard to be a role model for my children, not as a woman but as a parent who they look up to. I adore my children and work part-time to ensure I create a balance in my life both personally and professionally to be the best version of myself. I have never felt anything but supported in my decisions to be a mother and balance a senior leadership role. I see Intuita as an extension of my family, a support network and a cheerleader in all my endeavours.