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March 8, 2023

Celebrate Women’s History Month: Spotlighting Women’s Voices and Stories

At Dataminr, we are committed to celebrating all voices, which is one of the many ways we deliver on our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. That's why we’re excited about Women’s History Month and its 2023 theme: celebrating women who tell our stories.

When our employees share their stories—which we love hearing about and learning from—they help create community and understanding among their colleagues, who have diverse backgrounds and experiences.

I sat down with Madeleine Rousseau, Public Sector Customer Success Manager at Dataminr and global lead of the Women@Dataminr employee resource group (ERG), to discuss the importance of women’s voices and experiences and Women’s History Month; we also explored how Dataminr supports women in their careers.

This year’s theme is Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories. This includes authors, songwriters, scholars, playwrights, performers, mothers and grandmothers throughout time. Who would you say is your favorite storyteller(s)? And what impact has that person had on you?

There are so many excellent female authors out there. I'm really excited for our Women@Dataminr ERG to spend the month speaking about and highlighting their many works. 

Samantha Power is one of my favorite storytellers; I find her to be exceptionally inspirational. I’ve enjoyed following her journey to become the youngest ever U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and reading her memoir, The Education of an Idealist. It explores some of the overlapping issues she faced and overcame in her highly visible political roles, including serving on the National Security Council staff as special assistant to President Obama and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you? How do you usually celebrate it in and outside of the workplace?

Women’s History Month for me is about reminding myself that we stand on the shoulders of giants. There are so many folks who came before us, who’ve helped shape the way and carve a path for our personal successes. 

I have a deck of cards that documents women across history. I refer back to it so that I can remember and acknowledge those who have helped pave the way for me. I like to share the tidbits that I learn with our women's ERG, but also with the Dataminr community at large to increase awareness of the many remarkable individuals who have worked to advance women’s rights.

What changes in society and/or the workplace do you wish to see that will benefit women?

One aspect I believe we need to work on as a society, and in the workplace, is to acknowledge some of the nuanced issues that affect women. For example, when women change their last name after getting married, how can workplaces be more proactive about updating that in their internal systems? How can we better support women during that process, which is often time consuming and confusing? While this may seem like a relatively small thing, it ensures that women feel supported in their role.

My colleagues and I are very fortunate that Dataminr has several programs that specifically aid women’s health and wellbeing. One example is Carrot, a fertility and family-forming resource. Employees have an allotted amount to spend on the services, which include counseling as they move through their fertility journeys.

What are some concrete ways a company's employees and leadership can support women in their career? How has Dataminr done a good job in this aspect?

Dataminr’s employee population is approximately 50 percent men and 50 percent women. But how many of those women actually hold positions in leadership? I think Dataminr does a good job of giving women a seat at the table and promoting women in leadership roles, but I would like to see a larger percentage of women in those roles. 

I feel fortunate to be a manager on my team and have a manager that supports me in advancing my career. I especially appreciate the support because my role falls into two areas where women have been historically underrepresented: tech and defense.

How can employees and companies be better allies to support women—not just in advancing their career, but to help them show up 100 percent at work or be their best selves?

It really comes down to not being silent on issues that specifically affect women.  Not all companies acknowledge issues that impact a woman's ability to show up 100 percent at work. 

For example, last year, we had some really impactful internal conversations around Roe vs. Wade. Many companies were silent, internally and externally, and didn't want to take a political stance on the issue. While the latter is understandable, employees—particularly women at that time—needed a safe space to talk about how they were feeling. Dataminr facilitated an environment for open discussion and invited an external speaker and therapist to help our community digest the ruling’s impact and complexities. 

To me, the best way for a company to be an ally to women in the workplace is not to be silent, but to give women a voice, opportunity and space to discuss matters important to them—and affirm the support and actions loudly and publicly.

What is the Women@Dataminr ERG doing to celebrate this month?

We are doing quite a few things to honor Women’s History Month. We are working to create a recurring book or podcast club focused on women’s issues and elevating women’s voices. Dataminr offers employees two volunteer days per year, so we’re also updating our list of volunteer opportunities to highlight those that specifically support women in our local communities.

And, we’re hosting a Women’s History Month happy hour at our Washington D.C., New York and London offices to bring people together. We’ll highlight women in history and include trivia to boost everyone’s knowledge.

Finally, and something that is particularly exciting to me, we will have a panel discussion with external speakers from various NGOs, including the United Nations, to learn about their paths to leadership as women within their organization. Dataminr prioritizes our social good efforts, and the UN is one of our largest partners, so we’d love to highlight ways it has been able to use Dataminr’s leading AI platform to support women’s rights and safety across the globe.

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