Women in Tech Spotlight: Project Coordinator

The third and final segment from our Podcast Your Data focused on women in tech consists of a conversation between Marketing Generalist, Ricki Thompson, and Lyah Barberan, a project coordinator in our I.T. Services department.

Be an Agent of Change

With a lifelong curiosity surrounding technology, Lyah has seen firsthand the drastic tech revolution of the last 15 years. Seeing her favorite movies go from VHS tapes to DVDs and now to streaming devices has reinforced the truth that tech is always changing, and she loves being part of an industry that so consistently evolves and determines the future.

Lyah began her time at InterWorks working at the front desk. Through intentional mentorship from her manager, Staci, and consistent encouragement and opportunities to pursue her interests, she was able to forge her path into I.T. Now, as a project coordinator, Lyah gets a bird’s-eye view of projects and orchestrates all the different pieces, from informing stakeholders and meeting deadlines to streamlining communication and tracking all details.

“[Staci] was always very supportive and really helped me get that leg up that I needed to stand on so I could reach out and say, ‘I want to be in I.T. What do I need to do to make this happen?’ And so we made it happen.”

As a woman in tech who watched her female classmates dwindle the deeper she got into her major courses at university, Lyah’s no stranger to being underestimated and challenged in a male-dominated field. But she is a force to be reckoned with, as she believes all women are. One of her inspirations is Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA whose calculations safely sent the U.S. to space (her story is the focal point of the novel and film Hidden Figures).

The Best Way to Accomplish Your Goals? Do Them!

While every professional faces setbacks, professional women encounter pushback more often than not. Lyah is a huge proponent for being your own biggest fan. If there are low expectations, go above and beyond to exceed them and raise the bar for yourself. Whatever the goal is—no matter how many people are by your side championing you—start working toward it.

Some other highlights from Lyah’s interview:

  • Accepting things as they are is stagnation.
  • Diversity is crucial in disrupting the status quo and making progress.
  • There’s no better way to say, “I told you so” than accomplishing your goal.
  • If you know what you’re talking about, no real arguments can stand against you.
  • Women: we are our best support system, so support each other and keep crushing it!

Check out the Full Conversation

If you think you’re feeling inspired now, listen to the full podcast episode and hear firsthand the wisdom, grace and inspiration shared by all three of the women featured.

Above: Lyah in the I.T. Services room

The post Women in Tech Spotlight: Project Coordinator appeared first on InterWorks.


Women in Tech Spotlight: Global Marketing Manager

The second conversation featured in our all-women-focused episode of Podcast Your Data is one between host Ricki Thompson and the InterWorks Global Marketing Manager, Jenny Parnell.

Data, but Make It Design

Jenny came to InterWorks by way of a coffeeshop in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and a graphic design degree. The very first member of the marketing team—and the one tasked with actually figuring out how to “do marketing” at InterWorks—Jenny is no stranger to blazing new trails, carrying herself with confidence and humility at the same time, working hard and learning even harder.

Being the first marketing professional in the company, as well as being a woman in a male-dominated industry, Jenny realized the importance of being an advocate for herself (and her female colleagues). Impostor Syndrome is a real thing with real ramifications, but Jenny didn’t let that deter her from owning her role and growing her skillset, expertise and experience. When most of her university counterparts were moving into design agencies, she chose the technology industry, and while it may not have been what was expected, the opportunity became a block of clay that she was able to shape, mold and make her own.

“You belong where you think you belong, and you have to tell yourself that over and over again.”

When it comes to female role models, Jenny ardently admires Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Beyoncé. These are individuals who model what Jenny sees as strong leadership behavior: they care for other people, make change happen and embody what it means to be confident. Being a woman is hard, and we are taught in many ways to diminish ourselves, so the picture of strong female empowerment these women exemplify is especially valuable today. Below is an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay on the role of women in society that encapsulates an aspect of this struggle:

Press into Discomfort and Speak up

While the entire interview with Jenny is full of gems—give the episode a listen!—here are some of the biggest takeaways that anyone can apply, no matter their gender, job description or season of life.

  • You have to talk about the hard things!
  • Don’t be afraid of saying you don’t know.
  • Don’t get caught up in any traditional stereotype of a role.
  • Figure out what you value and go after it.
  • Changing a culture is all about changing behaviors.
  • It doesn’t matter that you don’t know things. The biggest determining factors in success are a willingness to learn and grow.
  • Women: don’t succumb to the stereotype of having to be in competition with one another. Support each other.

Above: Jenny with the events team, Morgan and Brittany, at the InterWorks Company Summit 2018

The post Women in Tech Spotlight: Global Marketing Manager appeared first on InterWorks.


Women in Tech Spotlight: Analytics Consultant

Recently, we highlighted four women from our company in a recent episode of Podcast Your Data. InterWorks Marketing Generalist, Ricki Thompson, facilitated conversations that centered around the presence and importance of women in the tech industry, and in this blog, we highlight some of the key ideas shared by Debbie Yu, an analytics consultant in the Pacific Northwest.

Developing a Love of Data with Tableau

Debbie first began tackling data challenges while in education administration. She and her team turned around data analysis for all kinds of reports, and through this work, she was introduced to Tableau. Thus began her true love of data, a deeper exploration of analytics and a more intentional development of her knowledge and skills in tech.

“There will always be a learning curve [in tech]. There is an intimidation factor there, but it keeps you on your toes. The moment you start to stagnate, you’ll fall behind.”

As Debbie transitioned into an analytics role in the tech industry, she was fortunate to be mentored by a woman who was purposeful in creating a meaningful relationship with Debbie. Because of this manager’s genuine investment in her career and life, Debbie was able to more deeply cultivate her own self-advocacy.

In the podcast, Debbie also shares some of the biggest lessons she’s learned over the course of her career so far:

  • Be intentional in finding relevant community.
  • Seek out opportunities to grow your skills.
  • Learn to trust your intuition.
  • Find and empower your voice.
  • Diversify your professional network.
  • Don’t let initial pushback derail your plans or passions.

Resources to Empower Women in Tech

Below are some of the organizations and resources Debbie mentions in her talk with Ricki. Want to listen to the entire conversation? Check out the full podcast episode!

  • PDX Women in Tech – an organization in Portland, Oregon, that seeks to empower and support women, non-binary and underrepresented people to join tech.
  • Django Girls – an organization that aims to inspire women to become involved in programming.
  • Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology – an organization working to support and promote women in the pursuit of technological innovation.
  • Pyladies – an international mentorship group that helps women become connected, empowered leaders in the Python open-source community.
  • General Assembly – a hub for a variety of data-forward classes and courses.
  • Playing Big by Tara Mohr – a book that offers practical guidance for women to step more fully into creativity, leadership and self-actualization.

Above: Debbie presenting at our recent Do Good Data event in Portland

The post Women in Tech Spotlight: Analytics Consultant appeared first on InterWorks.


PYD90 – Women in Tech

On this episode of PYD, InterWorks’ Marketing Generalist, Ricki Thompson, talks with three colleagues—Analytics Consultant Debbie Yu, Global Marketing Manager Jenny Parnell, and Project Coordinator Lyah Barberan—about their experiences as women in the technology industry. Each guest shares distinct difficulties she’s encountered, lessons learned and why being a woman in tech is such a uniquely rewarding challenge


Subscribe to Podcast Your Data through iTunes, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or your favorite podcasting app.

The post PYD90 – Women in Tech appeared first on InterWorks.


PyBites: Code Challenge 62 – Women @ Pycon ES

There is an immense amount to be learned simply by tinkering with things. – Henry Ford

Hey Pythonistas,

Coming thursday, the 18th of July 2019, we will organize a special challenge in collaboration with Python Alicante.

Spin up your favorite editor and start coding in Python!

The Challenge

We’d like to keep to a PyCon theme so let’s find out how many female speakers have been at PyCon ES and what the trend is:

  • Scrape 5 year’s worth of Pycon ES sites, years 2013-2018, and for each year extract all of the speakers. They are usually located under “schedule”, “agenda” or “charlas”.

  • Once you have a list of all of the speakers per year, use a Python lib or API of choice to determine if the speaker is female or not.

  • Bonus 1: How does this data compare to Pycon US and/or EU?

  • Bonus 2: Plot the data with your favorite data viz library – did the % of female speakers at Pycon ES go up or down in the past years? How does it compare to the Pycon US/EU findings in Bonus 1?

  • PR your work on our platform no later than 19th of July midnight AoE.

  • The Pybites / Python Alicante jury will only look at solutions from Ninjas that PR their work and include code for both bonus items. Submission speed and elegance will be looked at in particular. Winners will receive one of 3 prizes at random:

We encourage you to join our PyBites Slack Community and hop in the #pyday channel to collaborate. Please do not post solutions in this channel.

Last but not least: the intent is not to just focus on the best solution. Rather, the priority for all should be to learn and improve your Python skills. Keep it cool like Fonzie and enjoy the ride!

Ideas for future challenges, channel ideas / requests can be submitted via GH Issues.

Get serious, take your Python to the next level …

At PyBites we’re all about creating Python ninjas through challenges and real-world exercises. Read more about our story.

We are happy and proud to share that we now hear monthly stories from our users that they’re landing new Python jobs. For many this is a dream come true, especially as they’re often landing roles with significantly higher salaries!

Our 200 Bites of Py exercises are geared toward instilling the habit of coding frequently, if not daily which will dramatically improve your Python and problem solving skills. This is THE number one skillset necessary to becoming a linchpin in the industry and will enable you to crush it wherever codes need to be written.

Take our free trial and let us know on Slack how it helps you improve your Python!

>>> from pybites import Bob, Julian  Keep Calm and Code in Python! 

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