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

Peter Schroeter our consultant managing the role
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

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