Roisin McCarthy featured

Inspirational Woman: Roisin McCarthy | Co-Founder, Women in Data UK

Roisin McCarthyStarting her career as a junior recruiter in 2000, focusing exclusively on data and analytics, McCarthy has forged her career by building relationships between people who want to develop their careers and those who need the rare skills that these people can provide.

As a result of her own efforts, over two thousand people have moved into more satisfying roles and dozens of teams put together. Furthermore, she has managed a successful team of professional recruiters which, over the years, has placed thousands more. Today, she runs the successful recruitment firm, Datatech Analytics, and is the co-founder of the ground-breaking initiative, Women in Data UK. Over the past 19 years, McCarthy has been responsible for building some of the UK’s most cutting-edge data teams and has facilitated some of the most influential and successful careers in this sector, building relationships, influence and firm friendships along the way. McCarthy is seen as a thought-leader and an authority on careers, team development and talent acquisition in the field. Her unrivalled network of contacts, commitment to the data and analytics community and her unwavering passion for building strong, skilled teams is what makes her so unique.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My name is Roisin McCarthy and I am the Business lead at Datatech Analytics, alongside my voluntary role of Co-Founder on the ever-growing movement Women in Data.

I have had a career in Headhunting in the Data world for almost two decades, building strong long lasting relationships whilst building some of the most innovative data capability in the UK.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Never, like most people I fell in to it, after a lack of success in other fields.  However, after reflecting on my own achievements and the value they added to the organisation, I quickly started to define a plan of ambition.  I suppose, I needed the confidence in my own capability, which allowed me to focus further than the “here and now”.  With experience, my biggest learning is, always have a short-term achievable goal, working alongside your long-term road map and ambitions.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Plenty!  From tricky legal disputes, to on the job learning how to manage a team, challenges come thick and fast and often daily.  However, they are what develop your skills and growth.  They are what keep you fresh and relevant and each problem, uses unique skills and attributes.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I have been very fortunate, in that there have been so many.  Some of the key highlights have been recognition from industry peers of my contribution in industry.  Placing in excess of 3000 individuals, but my personal most cherished achievement is seeing the growth and measurable success of Women in Data.  Its trajectory of community growth, the value and safe space it offers its members.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Surrounding yourself with the right people, in talent, attitude, work ethic and ambition.  Women in data would simply not be the success it is without the hard work and dedication of the team who deliver.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Spread your learning, you cannot be a subject matter expert in all elements of technology, technique and tools.  A little knowledge of many skills, will allow you to identify your strengths and hopefully allow you to enjoy applying the skills to productive use.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Yes, I think whilst attitude and understanding towards gender equality has come a long way,  I do believe there is a huge distance still to go to ensure we are seeing parity in the years ahead.  From inclusive culture, to equal opportunities these are a long way from acceptable in many organisations.  WE alo have a longer term issue that will come as no surprise.  Women in Data’s research suggests gender equality will only get worse over the next decade and few women enter the profession to men at a rate of 4 men to 0.68 women.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

I believe there has been some pioneering work undertaken by organisations to really drive the dial, shared maternity/paternity leave, flexible working, additional academic support, leadership development and many more great initiatives.  We still don’t see many of these inclusive strategies in the Data teams we work with and for the Women in our community.  It needs to become the normal.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

It has to start with grassroots.  Ensuring young girls and women are introduced, excited and educated on the word of tech.  Allowing them to understand the importance of building these skills early on and knowing there is an inclusive, well paid, equal opportunity for them to build it their careers

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Every career in tech will have a requirement for some level of data literacy, by joining Women in Data you not only will build your personal network in the space, but you will really see under the bonnet of what is needed to excel in the space.  You will find up to date podcasts on industry hot topics, blogs and interviews, opportunities to self-develop and be part of our mentoring mission.


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