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Katherine Hurtado: a data magician for informed decisions

Meeting with Katherine Hurtado, who discusses her background as a Data Scientist and the place of women in the digital sector.

Who is Katherine Hurtado? What is your background, your role today?

I have always liked figures, data analysis. Understanding and solving problems. So when I had to choose my studies, I turned to statistics. I'm now a Data Scientist professional at Talan in Spain since last December. It is an exciting profession. Data is essential for companies. Knowing how to understand and interpret them is a major power in a company: to be able to make informed decisions. And that is not going to change! My job will certainly change with the multiplication of artificial intelligence solutions but the foundation will remain the same: data is the queen.

 

In the technology and innovation sectors, what profiles are sought? What is your view of the labour market in terms of gender equality?

When you look at the technology sector, there are two soft skills that take over: the ability to understand the needs of the company and how to convey the right information to the right people and with the right level of detail. To perform, you must therefore know how to combine technical expertise with business and/or sector expertise. In other words, these soft skills are not unique to a single gender.

Luckily, from my point of view, the labour market has changed a lot in recent years. I am meeting more and more women in professional fields where they were really minority before. This is the case with technology where there are more and more women engineers. I also have the clear impression that more and more women are in management positions. It's inspiring and encouraging but there's still a long way to go for both sexes to have the same opportunities for professional development. I also think there will be a natural change with the arrival of a "new generation of leaders" who have been made aware of the issues of diversity and parity almost throughout their careers.

 

Gender equality in technology, for example, to reconcile family and career? Dream or reality? What can we improve?

Today, many large groups are investing and committing to ensure both parents can invest as much as each other in their careers AND their family lives. Moreover, as we have seen with the pandemic, containment and standardisation of teleworking, technology can have a very important role to play. By investing in modern workplace solutions, and by creating hybrid work environments, families can now share more time together, have the same productivity in their work and enjoy free time for personal activities. And there is still plenty of innovative areas to explore where technology would have a major role to play for a more inclusive and responsible society.

 

The final word? A tip?

The tech sector is vast and constantly evolving. Male or female, if you are interested in tech: go ahead! The playgrounds are vast and there is a lot to learn each day. This is my case with data.