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Ellena Duffy - Senior Business Analyst

8th March 2019, International Women's Day | Ellena Duffy on March 08, 2019

In honour of international women's day three of our inspirational WiredScore women are taking over the blog for a day!

Cassie Wheeldon, Ellena Duffy and Charlotte Meara tell us about their roles at WiredScore, career highlights, thoughts on gender equality, tips for professional women starting out, and the women who in turn inspired them (fond grandmother stories impending).

Let us introduce Ellena Duffy, our senior business analyst. You think you know data? Ellena probably knows it better.

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MY INSPIRATION

I’m fascinated by Ruth Bader Ginsburg; she’s an artist for strategically advancing women’s rights. She is very skilled at stating her points calmly and logically, making it difficult for opponents of her vision (both in the courtroom and the wider public) to derail the debate. In doing so, Ruth has continually increased her influence while avoiding the danger of being marginalised and silenced. It would have been too easy for Ruth to have been dismissed by her peers as too disruptive, but her empathy and patience has instead allowed her to navigate through a hostile environment for over 50 years and make a lasting difference.

Another inspiration for me is Chidera Eggerue because she is perceptive and unapologetic in her views on equality. I find Ruth’s long term strategies interesting, but I am also really inspired by Chidera’s day to day unbridled championing of commonly overlooked groups. I look forward to checking her Instagram every morning.

 

WHO AM I?

I’m inquisitive and restless which makes me good at my job. I love to learn new things and I’m very competitive with myself; the first time I try something new I will work at it until I’m happy with the standard. I was reminded of this recently when I started boxing.

I’m also a history nerd, a vocal feminist, and an eternal optimist (evidenced by the fact I’ve been a Doncaster Rovers fan all my life). I grew up in the North, which I believe has shaped my perspective and values. I was taken back during my first week at WiredScore when I left the office to shouts of “great job today!” and continual encouragement and feedback; I had been instilled with a gritty work ethic and was used to no-nonsense management. Since then, I’ve settled in and really enjoy the sense of teamwork and shared celebration, and I am just as likely to shout “great job!” to unsuspecting colleagues as they leave for the day.

 


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Before WiredScore, I studied History at Cambridge which was a roller coaster experience. During my first term, my writing style was so poor that my supervisors thought I was dyslexic (instead I was actually using Northern syntax and vernacular). What I learnt from this experience isn’t groundbreaking: those who are well educated and have had their confidence nurtured from a young age tend to thrive in those environments, whereas others without the same presentation and polish have to assimilate and “catch up” before they can integrate. I’ve been very fortunate to have had some great sponsors throughout my education and career in order to help me progress, from the Cambridge Professor who revised basic grammar with me, my dad who has read everything I’ve ever written, to my current manager who works tirelessly to empower me in this role.

As a result of my experiences, I’m obsessed with the idea of paying it forward and look to find as many opportunities to do the same for others. In the long term, I’d love to be more involved in education, as I believe teaching is the most important profession out there.

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MY ROLE

I’m the Senior Business Analyst at WiredScore, leading the data insights team within the Research & Development department. I joined WiredScore as an intern in September 2016 shortly after graduating, and over the past two and a half years I have transitioned from books to tech. I manage the company’s CRM system and provide insights to the business on revenue generation and operational efficiency.

One of my favourite moments at WiredScore to date was managing our Development Intern Alice last summer, and watching her deliver a fantastic “Introduction to Python” class. She did such a great job of making coding seem accessible and fun that the whole office turned up to the class and two team members learnt python as part of their personal development training. I’m also very excited to see the data insights team grow, as we have an apprentice joining this month.


GENDER EQUALITY

A handful of tips (but not an exhaustive list!) for women:

  1. Look out for the common language pitfalls such as over apologising or prefacing opinions with “I may be wrong but…”

  2. Celebrate success (this is something that our Director of Partnerships does amazingly well - it’s infectious and uplifting for the rest of the team)

  3. Always ask a question at events and contribute in internal and external meetings

  4. Participate in training courses. Good examples include training for speaking on a panel, learning to code, and board readiness training

  5. Ask the company about their:

    1. professional development programmes and funding

    2. diversity and inclusion initiatives

    3. parental leave

    4. management training

    5. unconscious bias training

  6. Establish a trusted dialogue with male colleagues and be prepared to call out more subtle acts of sexism, such as microaggressions or inconsiderate use of language, as well as overt sexism. The small things may get overlooked because they are not perceived as malicious, but behaviours such as women doing more of the unassigned office tasks or not being invited to events outside of work can have a negative effect on the company’s culture. Often, people don’t realise they are contributing to it until it is pointed out.

 Also some tips for men:
  1. Be conscious of interrupting and speaking over women

  2. Ask for opinions, don’t just make assumptions...

  3. ...but be respectful of other people’s time. It is not women’s responsibility to provide a full training (unless there is a structured initiative such as Reverse Mentoring). There’s a lot of good content on gender equality and female experiences which already exists - be prepared to read as well as listen.

  4. Look to engage other men on the topic of gender equality

 
WANT TO JOIN?

WiredScore will be offering an incredible suite of professional development opportunities and benefits to our global team in 2019, and it’s just one great reason to join our fast-growing team. Head over to our careers page to learn more about our open opportunities now!

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