Like any other field, women can succeed in the information management field in a very passionate way. There is absolutely no reason to hesitate to join the sector and enjoy it. I would love to see more women active in this field if they do not mind spending lots of times in front of their computer. There are many courses online for those motivated in self-learning and more universities that have formal degrees in IM nowadays. There might be so many other ways to become a data analyst of course, but I can tell what I did when I started pursuing a career in this field.
The first thing I'd recommend to anyone who’d like to pursue a career as a data professional is learning a programming language. I use Phyton and frankly love it for so many reasons: it’s open source, commonly used and helps you use it without boundaries and tools of proprietary software. It is like learning a language, once you get comfortable with it, you can do everything with data. It also depends on people’s choice surely: if they would like to become a data scientist, they definitely should have a passion for mathematics or statistics because that’s what you deal with every day. For pursuing a career as a data analyst, math is still important of course but not as crucial.
One of the vital components is to improve your skills in Excel. Another one is to know data visualization, which has become more and more important these days for story-telling purposes. However, the key tip and piece of advice I would give to others out there, is to have a humble approach, willing to learn and discover on a daily basis new ways of working and thinking, especially given the nature of the multi-cultural environments we end up working in.
As well, it is important to want to be able to travel and often to go to hardship locations, which is not always easy and where often your hard technical skills will not be required but what will be essential is your team spirit, your willingness to be flexible and adapt to various circumstances that were not planned. But all in all, it is really worth it, and I am grateful to be part of the iMMAP surge roster and to be deployed with iMMAP.