Developers, sales representatives, product managers, designers, recruiters, project managers, marketers, communicators, graphic designers… all girls in a tech world! This wide variety of professions reflects the diversity of their journeys that led them to be working at iAdvize today. We asked them to tell us their story, and who knows, maybe spark vocations in other women. Marion is a data scientist. She joined iAdvize in 2013 and today, she’s starting this series of interviews, ‘Girls in a Tech World’.
Hello Marion! You’re a data scientist. What is your job all about? Maybe you can give us a concrete example of what you do?
I would say that data scientists are experts in managing and analysing a company’s data. My aim is to extract the relevant information from the data, information that will enable the company to take action and make decisions. The role of the data scientist ranges from identifying needs to offering results that can be used to meet those needs. This is done by designing models and algorithms to collect, organise, analyse, model and report the data.
Concretely, at iAdvize, my daily missions are twofold: on the one hand, create more value for our clients by making our platform smarter thanks to data science and on the other, give our internal teams access to the data and statistical analyses that will help them in their jobs.
What did you study and what led you here?
I started with a Bachelor degree in Mathematical Engineering at the University of Nantes. I then completed a Masters degree in Mathematics – Probability and Statistics. It was during a job forum organised by the university in 2011 that I discovered iAdvize.
Back then, there were only 10 employees working for this Nantes-based start-up. And yet, they were already looking for a data scientist intern. The project appealed to me straight away and I seized the opportunity! The focus of my internship was: optimisation of the behavioural targeting methodology.
What do you like about your job?
One of the aspects I like most is succeeding in highlighting important information in large volumes of data. Observing results and trying to explain them, by analysing them from different perspectives, I guess I find it really stimulating! It’s a bit like trying to find the solution to a riddle. I’ve always really liked it. I also like working with different people on a wide variety of topics. This is a real source of motivation for me.
N.B, this photo is from a scene of our 2016 Christmas video and does not reflect Marion’s real work ;-)
Women are still underrepresented in the digital sector, with only 20% in technical areas like yours. What’s your take on this? What can you say to young women to convince them to become data scientists?
Unfortunately, I think that there are still some stereotypes according to which some activities are more appropriate for men, others for women. These preconceived ideas condition us and weigh heavily upon our studying and career choices.
In addition, there is still a great lack of awareness amongst young people of the different opportunities available. I think the combination of these two factors explains to some extent the underrepresentation of women in the digital sector.
If you like mathematics, I’d say that being a data scientist is a great way to apply what you’ve learnt in an area that you enjoy. As long as there’s data, there can be data science! Which is why this speciality can lead to multiple possibilities.
At iAdvize, you are also “Mrs Random Draw”, can you tell us a little more about this key role ?
Well, I’m not sure one can really say this is a “key role” ;-) But indeed, people ask me to carry out draws on a regular basis. The explanation is quite simple: it takes me no more than 5 minutes to carry out a draw with the software I use. Doing it manually would take much longer. I use the R software for these draws. It’s an open-source programming language and software for statistical computing used a lot by data scientists.
Apart from stats, what makes your life sweet?
I absolutely love dancing: salsa, african dance, new jazz, tahitian dance … and west coast swing, my favourite! And because this is partly the issue here, I’ll seize this opportunity to underline that there are also stereotypes about dancing, and that in this area, there is also a lack of parity!
Gentlemen, you’ve been warned ;-) .
Thank you for having kicked this series off Marion! We’ll be back next month with another interview :-)
iAdvize is recruiting, take a look at the open job positions!