Interviews, North America

Veena Ramaswamy – Data Analyst at Brown Girl Magazine, Global Community Director & Tech Influencer at WomenTech Network, Founder of Beyoutifully Empower

Women need to challenge the status quo by educating and showing society that they are capable of reaching great heights and success in tech as well as in life.

Veena is an ambitious, passionate, and career-oriented woman who did her undergrad in Economics at Rutgers and Masters in IT and Data Analytics at Boston University. She is currently working as a Data Analyst at a South Asian startup called Brown Girl Magazine. Apart from career, she’s been working on a few side hustles in her free time. She is a huge supporter of women empowerment and believes that women should showcase their talents at all times and strive to be successful in their career and in other areas in life by standing up for themselves, voicing their knowledge, and introducing new innovative ideas to the table. She focuses on leadership development and was a guest speaker for General Assembly’s ‘How She Got There’ event to discuss women leadership and the power of communities. She will be launching her very first book called Beyoutifully Empower in December 2020. She is a life & career coach and founder of Beyoutifully Empower which is her coaching business  where she would like to inspire women to become the best possible version of themselves through personal, career, and leadership development. She is a lifestyle and travel blogger at Beyoutiful, where she writes about fashion, beauty, travel and share her own portfolio showcasing talents of photography, poetry, DIY, etc.

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

I work as a Data Analyst at a South Asian startup called Brown Girl Magazine which unites thousands of women and men globally and empowers them to break the glass ceiling and spread awareness through the power of storytelling. As a data analyst, I have 1+ years of industry knowledge manipulating and analyzing digital data, generating actionable insights, and improving business optimization through Web Analytics & Strategic Marketing. I’ve identified industry patterns and trends and measured core KPI’s to understand user experience and behavior by creating meaningful dashboards/reports with Tableau and other data visualization tools. I aspire to become a Data Scientist at a large tech company in the future. 

I’ve also been focusing on leadership development and have been working as a Founding Member for WomenTech Network. I’ve empowered and united at least 100K women in tech to find their purpose, excel in their career, and become successful leaders. 

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

After intense exploration and detailed analysis, I realized that data science was the right career for me as it’s a field that is currently “sexiest job” in the 21st Century and will still be 10 years down the road.

I started out as a pre-med student, changed my major to Econ and minored in Bio and Psych, thought I could pursue my career in Management, but I felt that a part of me was missing. I lacked the passion for these subjects and ended up embarking on a career journey. I’m an avid learner and I’m always on the hunt to learn new skills so I decided to take several courses in IT and Big Data. I started to become really curious about the emerging field of Data Analytics which fueled my passion and decided to pursue my career in technology and Data Science. After intense exploration and detailed analysis, I realized that data science was the right career for me as it’s a field that is currently “sexiest job” in the 21st Century and will still be 10 years down the road. It also had a combination of science, business, and IT programming which was my expertise. I was able to choose a field that truly made me happy!

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

STEM is exciting to work in because it can foster so much creativity, innovation, and curiosity. It’s one of the best fields for people who are hungry to think outside of the box using all of the emerging latest tools and technologies. As I started my career in data analytics, I’ve been witnessing how technology is rapidly evolving every year from cloud to IOT, data science to machine learning and then Artificial Intelligence. You’re constantly learning and the more you dig for answers, you start to unravel innovative knowledge and concepts. Learning is never-ending in this field and it sparks inspiration to keep bringing new ideas to the table. 

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

It’s extremely empowering to see more women breaking into the tech industry and becoming successful in the male-dominated industry. I’ve been noticing an increase in women in CEO and top level management positions in the tech sector compared to previous years. There are several amazing networks for women in tech which have done an incredible job in encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM, especially technology. They’ve built a powerful community of inspiring tech women worldwide to make a difference and help emerging talent from diverse backgrounds to connect and learn from one another. They try their best to create a community full of passionate and kind leaders who cheer each other and lift one another up instead of tearing them down. As a result, it has fostered innovation, creativity, and a sense of connectedness. 

However, women face a lot of challenges in which they are accustomed to gender stereotypes that society has created. It’s believed that women are assigned to roles in the household and are seen as the more submissive and emotional type. 

People have underestimated the power of a woman to become an effective leader and to level up in the workplace. Women also experience imposter syndrome in the corporate world where their opinions and ideas are ignored and judged. They are always doubtful of their potential in the workplace which makes them feel like “they are young” and “they aren’t good enough”. Because of this, they tend to hesitate to voice their opinions which hinders them from reaching their full potential. Women have to realize their competence and talent and their amalgamation of feminine and masculine qualities can make them a great leader in the workplace too. They should embrace self-love and self-acceptance and stand up for what they believe in. Women in tech should never have to feel inadequate and should always be given equal opportunities. Women need to challenge the status quo by educating and showing society that they are capable of reaching great heights and success in tech as well as in life. 

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech? 

Women should empower each other to succeed and grow personally and professionally. We should educate the next generation of girls and young women about the intricacies and the power of technology in this generation by providing coding camps, hands on labs, and resources in elementary schools K-12. It’s important for women to spread awareness of women inequality in the corporate world and encourage young girls to tap into their strengths and abilities so that they can reach their full potential. We should empower girls to let their voice be heard and to stand up for what they believe in by portraying empathy, listening to what they have to say, respecting their opinions, and giving them the help that they need to become successful. 

We should accept them for who they are and eliminate any gender bias, discrimination, or stereotyping at all costs. Girls should have the right to bring their true self and ideas into the corporate world without having to feel that they are not good enough. We should break the gender stereotypes and give them the moral support that they are capable of becoming a future excellent female leader. We should support them to have the same equal rights as men and always instill confidence in them to manifest their dreams. 

Girls are strong, talented, worthy of love and respect, and beautiful in every way and they have what it takes to become a CEO no matter what anyone says! They are also the dreamers, the doers, achievers, and the winners in every aspect of their lives, whether it be in relationships or in career success. 

Which was the best decision in your career?

My goal is to encourage women to break the gender stereotypes and give them the moral support that they are capable of becoming a future excellent female leader. Their identity, creativity, perspectives, etc. are all valuable to each and every company and in the world and it’s our job to make them feel heard, seen, and loved. I would like to pave the right path for the next generation of girls to break that glass ceiling and to create change in tech sector.  The best decision I made in my career is that I joined WomenTech Network as a global ambassador and ranked #1 WTN among thousands of inspiring women. Because of Anna (CEO of WomenTech Network), I developed my leadership skills, expanded my network, and engaged with global women tech leaders. I  received immense global level recognition as Country Leader for my effort and hard work in empowering women in tech to join the network and empower each other to become successful in their professional life. As a Global Community Director and Track Chair, I also encouraged team leaders and members of superior talent to promote the network and help the community grow. I was one of the community keynote speakers for one of the largest WTN global tech conferences among 200 speakers and 3K women in tech. I’ve also been featured and interviewed in various tech magazines and platforms including Women Tech Leaders Magazine, 1MWIS Role Model for STEM, Tech Influencer Blog, etc. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and as a tech influencer, I was able to connect and unite with 100K women to attend a global tech conference, get inspired, and make a positive impact by making sure their voice was heard!  

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

Determination, perseverance, and sheer motivation are all significant in being successful in your career and in life.

Embrace change and try to step out of your comfort zone. Try to let go of the fear and embrace the unknown as this will foster innovation. It’s so important to find a career that you’re passionate about. Don’t choose something that you’re low-key interested in. Always be yourself and choose a career that works for you and jives with your personality. I took the challenge and came out of my comfort zone which invited so many golden opportunities for me. I explored new interests and faced my fears. I wish I had done this earlier, but coming out of my comfort zone made me reach my full potential. I used my knowledge and versatility to my advantage and unraveled my passion which was data science. I didn’t give up and fought for what I wanted to so that I can excel in my career. I used the work now, play later approach to step up my A-game and sacrificed pleasure for work for the past 10 years and you know what, it was all totally worth it! Determination, perseverance, and sheer motivation are all significant in being successful in your career and in life.

Veena Ramaswamy is an ambitious, passionate, and career-oriented woman who did her undergrad in Economics at Rutgers and Masters in IT and Data Analytics at Boston University. She is currently working as a Data Analyst at a South Asian startup called Brown Girl Magazine. Apart from career, she’s been working on a few side hustles in her free time. She is a huge supporter of women empowerment and believes that women should showcase their talents at all times and strive to be successful in their career and in other areas in life by standing up for themselves, voicing their knowledge, and introducing new innovative ideas to the table. She focuses on leadership development and was a guest speaker for General Assembly’s ‘How She Got There’ event to discuss women leadership and the power of communities. She will be launching her very first book called Beyoutifully Empower in December 2020. She is a life & career coach and founder of Beyoutifully Empower which is her coaching business  where she would like to inspire women to become the best possible version of themselves through personal, career, and leadership development. She is a lifestyle and travel blogger at Beyoutiful, where she writes about fashion, beauty, travel and share her own portfolio showcasing talents of photography, poetry, DIY, etc.

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