Witad Awards 2020: Best Company for Diversity and Inclusion (Vendor)—Datactics

Women in Data and Technology

Belfast-based Datactics, a specialist in data quality and matching, prides itself on the diversity of its workforce. “We consider ourselves to be very inclusive and diverse,” says Stuart Harvey, CEO at Datactics. “The driver for that is not a particular moral position that we have—we find that it’s practically related to finding good quality people in a demanding market.”

The firm, which has more than doubled the number of women it employs to over 40% by the end of last year, has a number of women in leadership roles, including its project management officer and head of HR. It also has an all-female artificial intelligence (AI) team, led by Dr. Fiona Browne. “We have people at different stages in their career,” Browne explains. “We have a lady who joined us from a placement with a master’s in data analytics. She is at the start of her machine learning career with a background in mathematics. We had another lady who joined us with a PhD from Liverpool University, and she came from an industrial background as well, so she’s got both the software development side and the machine learning side.”

The firm has 13 different nationalities represented within its workforce. One of the steps it has taken to create employee engagement has been organizing international days. This has involved an intern working in HR setting up a Chinese day, while two employees from Lithuania organized a similar event about their country.

Datactics takes a flexible approach to remote working. For example, Browne—who spends a considerable amount of time commuting from outside Belfast—works from home one day a week. She says it provides her with flexibility in terms of her travel and family. 

In addition, the firm has employees working in Milan, as well as a few people based in England. It tries to engender the feel of being part of a team by way of conference calls, meetings and flexible working arrangements. Datactics also has a voluntary work partnership with a primary school in Belfast. Employees go to the school for one hour each week to do a variety of activities such as one-to-one reading with the students.

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