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Meet the Team: Talking PRIDE With Kyle, Katie and Cédric

Dataiku Company Emilie Cêtre

Last week, in honor of Pride month, we held our first LGBTQ+ roundtable at Dataiku — organized by our Queer Employee Resource Group (ERG) — to not only celebrate Pride month as a company, but raise awareness among Dataikers on LGBTQ+ stakes within the workplace in order to, ultimately, eliminate discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community and share best practices for allies on how to support them.  

The panel, titled “Being Queer at Work: A 360-Degree View,” was moderated by Dataiku’s Chief Happiness Officer Sonia Chabbi and included representation from:

  • Rica - a transgender woman based in London who works at a consulting firm  
  • Erik - a gay man based in Washington D.C. who recently joined Dataiku as an enterprise customer success manager
  • Thomas - an asexual and aromantic man based in Paris who works at a consulting firm
  • Pippa - a lesbian woman based in London who works at an international banking group

PanelDiscussion-noname-noThomas

Our panel organizers (from Dataiku's Queer ERG) and panelists

It’s not a trivial thing, but rather a philosophical choice. When you become a Dataiker, you make a choice. You are not here by chance. The day you join Dataiku you start learning its culture, integrating its values, and examining your own values. There are many causes we care about at Dataiku and we’re here today to discuss a very important one, LGBTQ+ rights.”

-Sonia Chabbi, Ally and Chief Happiness Officer @ Dataiku

Panelists were asked to share what they think people should know about the letter(s) they represent, the main priorities for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, and powerful stories from their own experiences. In the remainder of this blog post, we’re going to showcase the professional trajectories, stories, and thoughts on the panel from three Dataikers who also identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

Katie Gross, Data Science Manager, NYC

Katie GrossI’ve been at Dataiku for a little over two years, and my role mostly consists of acting as a technical resource and data science expert for our customers in their use of Dataiku, leading a team of data scientists, and supporting internal stakeholders as well. Prior to Dataiku, I spent several years as a consultant at Nielsen, completed a data science bootcamp, and supported various startups as a freelance data scientist. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time growing and coaching my team as well as helping a customer develop a recommendation engine for support ticket documentation matching.

I loved the panel we hosted last week; I thought it was an excellent way for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to learn about people with different backgrounds and what this means for their day-to-day experiences in the professional world. Being queer at work is somewhat new to me, as I wasn’t open about it until I joined Dataiku. I think part of the reason it was easy for me to be open about it was because many of my colleagues became close friends, dating was something we discussed, and it felt unnatural to continue to dance around gender pronouns. It feels awesome to be a part of such a supportive organization and I was really excited to see the attendance and engagement we had at the panel last week and am looking forward to more events in the future.

Cédric Le Bras, Senior Enterprise Customer Success Manager, Paris 

Cédric-Le-Bras I started my career as a project manager in a consulting firm before heading towards the finance industry, where I developed a strong expertise in data management and governance which ultimately led me to join Dataiku in November 2019. Here, I specifically support our global banking and insurance groups customers. I provide them with the help and support they need to achieve the major AI transformations projects they are conducting. For me, the best part of it is to connect with the clients, build trust, and establish long-lasting relationships with them. I’m always very proud to see the impact of what we’re building together and how creative they can be when it comes to leveraging our software. 

Although I have 20+ years of work experience, Dataiku is the first company where I feel comfortable speaking about my sexual orientation. I immediately felt like I could be open about it. It was very new to me and I even surprised myself as I mentioned my partner very naturally during my interview process. I feel very lucky to work at a company that holds a sincere desire to be as inclusive as possible and that is not only talking the talk but walking it. I know that many people still don’t have that opportunity to be their true self at work and I want to help change that. I was deeply moved by the level of attendance and participation in last week’s panel and one thing I hope Dataikers will remember from it is that we should always avoid labeling people. Each of us is the sum of so many things that it never makes sense to define someone’s identity based on one particular aspect. Let’s also make sure we are not rebuilding walls between people when we are advocating for diversity and inclusion. We’re stronger together.

Kyle Armstrong, Business Development Representative, Denver 

Untitled-1As part of Dataiku’s lead generation team, I help my sales and marketing colleagues identify target prospects and customers as well as engage with them so that they become qualified opportunities for Dataiku. I was previously working at a top ranking digital marketing firm based here in the U.S. and I joined Dataiku’s team in Denver, Colo. in 2019. Something I really like about my job here is working with organizational leaders at our clients’ organizations to understand the life-changing efforts they’re working on and see the direct impact that Dataiku is having on those projects. 

I also believe that the friendly and welcoming environment here at Dataiku is second to none. My colleagues and leadership have never looked at me as a queer person or coworker — rather they’ve embraced me and have collaborated with me as a person and colleague who also happens to be queer. In the end, we’re all humans just trying to do our best and this is also the biggest takeaway that I took from last week’s panel. Even as someone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m still learning on how to be the best ally I can for my queer and non-queer friends, coworkers, and family. It just goes to show that no matter where you are on the spectrum, there’s always an opportunity to learn more and do better. 

Looking Ahead

As our CEO Florian Douetteau said earlier this month when sharing our progress fighting inequities of all kinds, we still have work to do on this journey. It is our hope that all Dataikers, no matter how they identify, continue to celebrate Pride beyond June and come together with the common goal to continue making Dataiku as inclusive and equitable as possible. 

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