Diversity In Data: An Overview Of Our Berlin Meet-Up

David Webb our consultant managing the role
Author: David Webb
Posting date: 1/30/2020 10:25 AM
We started the year off right at Harnham Berlin, following the launch of our first ever European “State of Diversity Report” and working in collaboration with Smava to host an amazing event with three inspiring speakers on the topic.

Our second event in Berlin, we wanted to continue with our mission to create a different type of tech meetup, moving away from purely technical discussions and focussing on important non-technical subjects within Data & Analytics and Recruitment. With Diversity & Inclusion more important than ever for both businesses and individuals, we wanted to do our bit to contribute to the discussion and talk about how the industry can move forward.

As we were full on the day, and many of those who wanted to attend were unable to make it, I just wanted to put together a short piece on some of the highlights. Here are some of the top points covered on the day:

Harnham’s State of Diversity Report
David Webb – PrincipAL Consultant | Harnham

  • As industry leaders, we feel it’s our responsibility to share our knowledge with businesses as individuals across the world of Data & Analytics. Alongside our annual Salary Guide, our Diversity report allows us to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the market and, in this presentation, we discussed the state of D&I in Europe and Germany specifically.
  • Research has showed time and again that a diverse workforce drives profitability & increases staff satisfaction, so is it really surprising that having many people from different backgrounds can offer a company a broader range of solutions?
  • Our report surveyed over 3,000 people and shows that not only can you increase profitability and improve staff satisfaction, a full TWO THIRDS of job seekers consider Diversity to be an important factor when analysing a job offer (which Bar Schwartz takes a closer look at during her talk).
  • With a German workforce that’s only 25% female, there is still plenty of work to do in order to achieve greater equality. If you’d like a copy of the full report and want to talk through some of our findings in more detail, please just get in touch

Everyone speaks about D&I, not everyone is ready for it
Bar Schwartz – Head of Engineering | Signavio


  • Diversity is not an outcome of hiring people of different gender or colour; it is an outcome of seeking and accommodating different personalities at work.
  • Integrating diversity to your workplace or team requires education on what diversity is, what personality is, and how people differ. It requires challenging our biases on what the right ways to do things are and what is perceived as good or bad.
  • It has to be a top-down, inside-out solution that covers everything from culture to leadership, every individual, and even your structures and roles. Change can start small. Integrating different people into the hiring process (even if they just observe), exposes people to profiles of diverse people and may challenge your unconscious biases.
  • You can read more of Bar’s thoughts on creating a Diverse workforce here

How the brain asks for Inclusion, not Diversity
Kirsten Brueckner – CMO | mobile.de


  • Our brain asks for inclusion, not diversity. Why? Our brain is incredibly smart in being as efficient as possible. This means that 95% of our decision making is unconscious and 70% of it is influenced by emotions (and we are great in post-rationalising). Most of the time we are on autopilot based on past experiences and knowledge and we don't even know this. We mix past experiences and knowledge with the input we get and form our own version of reality, which is a challenge in communication.
  • What does that tell us about diversity? It’s difficult as we can't be on autopilot if we want to make progress. We need to discard past experiences and question our current knowledge.
  • There are some simple tricks that transform recognising diversity into seeing inclusion; search for similarities (you will always find some), broaden your experience, be consciously conscious and enjoy the ride while learning.

How to better advocate for Diversity & Inclusion
Anna Mikulinska – CTO | Enterroom


  • Why is it urgent to act? Without exposing the bias in Data, we use the inequality which will become a part of the design of the modern world and this is only amplified by the use of technology.
  • How should we approach D&I? With empathy, and by addressing all the possible doubts Diversity & Inclusion raises. For Managers and Investors to spend money on supporting Diversity & Inclusion we need to make sure they truly understand the value of becoming advocates on their own. It’s not enough to convince someone for five minutes, they in turn need to be able to a buy in from their managers and partners as well. It’s time we stop avoiding difficult questions, let’s address them upfront.
  • Everyone can act, but what can be done? Not everyone has to get on stage or into a board room. We can support progression with D&I by:
    • Creating a D&I friendly work environment
    • Bringing up the topic during the interview process as a potential candidate
    • Mentoring a young person willing to enter the Tech world and sharing your story with them
    • Not being silenced by the argument “let’s not do politics”

We will be running more events throughout 2020 which are already being planned and hope to see you all there! If you would like any more information, would like to get involved, or if you’re looking for support with your Data & Analytics hiring process, get in touch with our team of expert consultants and we will be able to advise you on the best way forward. 

You can download our European Diversity Report here, and our Salary Guide here

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

How To Effectively Prepare For An Interview

If you’re preparing for an interview, video or otherwise, it’s important to think beyond Googling ‘common interview questions’ and scanning the company’s website. It’s important to make a great first impression and by preparing properly, you’re in a better position to achieve this. Plus, you’ll feel more confident and will be able to give more convincing answers that will help prove why you’re the perfect fit for the role. With that in mind, here are our recommendations for how to best prepare for an interview: Find out what type of interview it is Even if a company isn’t working entirely remotely, it’s likely you’ll face a variety of interviews throughout a their application process. Most processes last between two and three stages of interviews, any many vary in how these are conducted. They could be: Face to Face – Expect these to last between 45 minutes and 2 hours. The questions will be likely be strengths- or competency-based. Phone – This is often used early in the process, we’d expect these to last approximately 30 minutes and are designed to get a feel for your skillset and experience. Video – These are becoming increasingly popular with employers, and can be live or pre-recorded. They tend to last around 30 minutes. Assessment Centres – You’ll attend these with other candidates and take part in a variety of tasks presentations, team exercises and psychometric tests lasting a full day. Get to know the company  Don’t just look at their About Us page. Read about them, their clients and their products or services. This will help you learn about what they do but also learn how they see themselves as business and what they feel makes them different from their competitors. This will help your interviewer understand you ‘get’ them and understand their business. Research the team  As well as getting to know the company, we’d recommend taking a look at your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile and seeing what they’ve posted and where they’ve come from. Also, take a look at the “Meet the team” pages on the website to gain an insight into who you may be meeting throughout your process. Glassdoor is a good place to go for company reviews but take them as a guide not fact as they’re anonymous reviews by current or former employees.  Prepare your own questions It’s likely your interviewer will ask what questions you have for them. This is a great opportunity for you to get the information you need to figure out if this is a job you really want and can see yourself doing. Think about what you really want to know about the position and the company. Things to think about could be: What are the biggest challenges in this position? What would be the expectations of me 3/6/12 months in? Could you describe what a typical day is like in this position? Not only does this help you build a bigger picture of what this job would look like, your questions show a deeper engagement in the role and company, much more so than asking basic questions such as “What’s the salary? What is the holiday allowance? What are the working hours?”.  It’s perfectly normal to write down your questions and take them into your interview to avoid forgetting any questions you wanted to know the answers to, so don’t feel as though you can’t do this.  Re-read the job description Spend time highlighting the responsibilities in the job description and thinking how your experience equips you to meet these. Try to prepare concrete examples from your past that back up why you’d be great for the role. How have you dealt with challenges or what successes have you had that you can link to how you’d be successful in this role? Try to come up with at least 5 solid examples or stories to talk through in the interview.   Write down questions you’re likely to be asked There are some questions you can almost guarantee on being asked such as “tell me about yourself” or “what is your biggest weakness”. It’s also likely you’ll be asked questions around your interest in the role and the company and why you applied. Be prepared to talk about numbers, in particular any significant impact that your previous projects have made on a business.  For each question you think of jot down a few notes or bullet points to build upon instead of writing out an entire answer and trying to remember it word for word.  Practice saying your answers Practising your answers out loud and looking in the mirror will help you clarify your answers and make you more comfortable during the interview. Try doing a mock interview with a friend or family member to help polish your delivery and boost your confidence in what you’re saying.  Dress accordingly Figure out what to wear to the interview by asking what the office dress code is before the interview. If the business has a business casual or business dress code, it’s appropriate to wear a suit for males and females to dress in smart business attire.  Make sure your outfit and shoes are clean and your bag/briefcase is emptied of any rubbish and packed with interview essentials: pens, a notepad, a copy of your CV, list of questions, mints, business card. These may seem obvious, but employers do take note and still make judgements based on how you present yourself.  If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, or if you’re looking for help with your next hiring process, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Why Businesses Need To Put Fraud Prevention Front And Centre

If Fraudsters are anything, they are opportunists. Once the first new stories about COVID-19 started running, it wasn’t long until they were joined by tales of fraudsters selling face masks and hand sanitiser, asking panicked customers to transfer money and then disappearing without a trace.  And it’s not the first time we’ve seen this. Fraudsters are notoriously wise to periods of heightened sensitivity and uncertainty, often preying on the vulnerable. The 2008 financial crisis saw an increase in email-based phishing scams and a decade’s worth of technological advancements means that Fraud remains a many-headed beast.  Add into the mix a change in working styles and environments, and many businesses are more exposed to potential security breaches than they have been in years. Now, more than ever, companies need to make sure their Data is well protected and secure. THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE If you’re part of, or leading, a Fraud Prevention team, there are a number of ways you can support your business and keep on top of the situation. Here are just a few: Increase and update your investigation capacity. This team are the front line of your business’ Fraud defence team, interacting with customers daily and spotting new scams. During an uncertain period, retention and team stability is key. These are the people that understand the day-to-day Fraud challenges you face and will be essential in fighting any future challenges.  Sharing Fraud Prevention knowledge is key. Throughout this crisis, trends will be evolving quickly and working collaboratively across teams, and even other businesses, is the best way to combat this. We consistently hear from Fraud Managers that the key to beating Fraud is to share information and knowledge. Despite this, there is always a hesitation amongst companies to admit that they have been a victim to an attack. Perhaps now is the time to change this. Invest in Machine Learning and real time updates for your Fraud defences. Fraud technology has moved on from script writing in SQL and rule changes. Businesses need a real time reactive response and now is an important time to be embracing new technologies. There are a number AI-driven off the shelf packages available or, for a more bespoke solution, a Fraud Data Scientist can create something internally. Educate your team. It may seem simple, but the Fraud team can play a crucial role in minimising any potential risk from human-error. Educating employees on the risks they may face when working remotely, or what scams they need to look out for, is one of the most effective ways of fighting Fraud.  PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS Success in the fight against Fraud isn’t purely down to the group of individuals that make up the Fraud team. As a business, now is the time to be making decisions that can help you stay ahead of the Fraudsters. Here are some considerations: Consider investing in tech as an your immediate response. Not just to bolster your Fraud defences (although there are plenty of vendors offering AI-based solutions), but also technology for your employees to keep work as normal as possible such a sharing platforms, DevOps technology and video calling networks. One of the best ways to block some of the vulnerability loopholes fraudsters are trying to exploit is to keep working habits as close to normal as possible as you move to a remote solution. Be transparent with your customers. Consumers are being incredibly savvy and noting how businesses respond to the pandemic in a way that could have a big impact when normality returns. But they’re also being more empathetic and are willing to understand difficulties. For example, shopping delivery service Ocado were open and transparent when their system could not initially deal with demand. Having communicated the difficulties, worked through their issues and gone the extra mile to let customers know how they can be supported in this time, the received minimal backlash. There is an understanding that we’re all in this together. Finally, if you have the budget, continue to staff up - particularly in competitive fields such as Data Science. A lot of top Data professionals are currently at home and much more accessible than they have been in a long time. With a number of ways to remotely interview and onboard both permanent and contract staff, if you are able to get begin conversations with them now, you’ll have an edge in what will be a very competitive market come later in the year.  If you’re looking to take your next step in the world of Fraud, we may have a role for you, including a number of remote opportunities.  Or, if you’re looking to expand and build out your Fraud team, get in touch with one of expert consultants who will be able to advise on the best remote and long-term processes. 

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