Inspiring answers by Lyndsay Weir, one of the Women in Data Ambassadors on her life and working in a Global Data Manager job.
1. Name and job role:
Lyndsay Weir, Global Data and Analytics Manager
2. What is something about you people might not know?
I have endometriosis, and I have been forever fortunate to be supported by some fantastic mentors, managers, family and friends so that it has always been something that has been accepted and supported within the workplace or in my own personal life. Without the understanding of others and their flexibility when it flares up I may not have been able to complete some studies, continue in my job at times without remote working or keep friends because of the regular need to decline social invites last minute. For this, I will always be grateful.
3. What are your hobbies?
I am really passionate about writing. I have a personal blog I update regularly on travel advice, country guides and minimalism and contribute to platforms such as the Huffington Post and Metro UK on these topics. When I am not sat at a laptop, writing or for work, I love to get outdoors and hike, especially in the Swiss Mountains.
3. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was really young I had two potential dream roles. An Air Hostess or working in Law. Don’t ask me how I decided on either. I don’t think I knew and still don’t really know now! I guess with my current role I have found a way to satisfy both through the regular plane travel and focus on data privacy law.
4. Who was your biggest influence growing up?… who were your role models?
Growing up I was, and still am, a real book-worm. For me, authors such as Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Mary Shelley and Edith Wharton all broke barriers and set great examples via their biggest passion, writing.
5. What were your favourite subjects at school?
I loved History, English and Chemistry.
6. What were your least favourite subjects at school?
To be honest, I absolutely loved learning so I didn’t really dislike any subjects. Although I might add that Physical Education when it was cold and outdoors was something that didn’t fill me with much joy.
7. How did you come to choose your current career path or were you led to it?
Strangely I never chose explicitly to work in data. I slowly moved towards it by discovering what key parts of the roles I was in I really enjoyed. Naturally, my analytical traits drew me towards roles which required a lot of analysis, problem-solving and translating data into communications, plans and strategies.
8. What are the biggest changes in the world of work (for women) that you are excited about?
There’s an incredible movement right now to get a lot of women into tech. Right from a young age which is inspiring. However to make this a long-term success, the women currently in this field need to be advocates for ensuring that the world the next generation enter is fit to help them thrive and keep them in STEM careers. For me, I am excited to see there’s a growing movement towards flexible working, a good work-life blend and open conversations about the existing gender pay-gap and data bias that exists currently.
9. Would you say having a degree is the only path to a successful career? Would you say there are opportunities for women entrepreneurs in your career?
Absolutely not. For me personally, my degree is not in a STEM subject. I read History at the University of Birmingham and then moved into a more technical career path through experience, self-learning and post-graduate certifications. Honestly, there are many paths towards a successful career and honestly, no one path is the right one to take. A career is a successful one in my opinion if it makes you happy, keeps you fulfilled and promotes positive change in yourself and for those around you. If you need specialist knowledge in a field and a degree is a requirement for your desired occupation, obviously it is clear that the most direct path to this would be to undertake the degree. However if not, apprenticeships, work experience and personal development are all other great ways to build the knowledge and skills needed to have a successful and fulfilling career.
10. What advice would you give your younger self and school leavers today?
Never be afraid to trust your own instincts, even if the choice seems scary, impossible or difficult at the time. Quite often, the biggest challenges lead to the greatest opportunities and rewards so never be afraid to push yourself to do something if it feels right. Also, remain true to yourself, learn from those who inspire you, and the true value of success is how happy you feel – not how much stuff or status you have.