Spotlight on Women in Data 2018. Meet Natasha...

London | August

Spotlight on Women in Data 2018 and Natasha...

At Vanquis, our analytics teams are where we make some of the most important decisions in our business.  We are aware that, traditionally, women are often under-represented in these areas, so we are working hard to recruit and retain a world class, diverse team of experts.  We’re passionate about having diverse teams as this reflects who our customers are.  By partnering with Women in Data UK we want to help drive diversity in the industry and encourage women to shine and progress in their careers.  We truly believe that generating a move diverse workforce within the analyst space will give us access to a market of previously untapped talent.

Spotlight on Natasha Hegde (Senior Manager – Commercial Analytics)

Read her story about how a childhood love of maths and solving puzzles turned into a successful career in data analytics at Vanquis...

As a child I loved math, solving puzzles and challenging my teachers. I also found great joy in taking a subject that was seemingly complex and breaking it down into smaller simpler components. I’d tutor my juniors and feel elated when I’d see an Aha! moment on someone’s face. I thought teaching math was my calling. However as life would have it after graduating from an MBA in Finance, I found myself in a data analytics team in a big bank.

All this strangely came together for me when I realised that working in analytics means I get to play around with tons of data, join the dots of a puzzle in terms of what the data means from a strategic perspective, and then simplify the message for a wider audience. Challenging the status quo was looked upon positively where ideas on new ways to do things was a competitive advantage. I have worked in analytics for 12 years in various roles spanning different lending products and geographies (India, US, UK, Southern Europe) and truly enjoy what I do. At Vanquis, I love the fact that I can actively influence the P&L through the work that I and my team do.

In the early stages of my career, I was very conscious of being one of the few coloured women in the room. It didn’t help that I was an immigrant with a strange accent. I decided very early on that I wasn’t going to focus on blending in. I was going to focus on being excellent at my job. Eventually these things faded out from my radar. I also learnt to embrace my feminine traits and accept that it brings a different perspective to work. Being sensitive allows me to build strong relationships with my stakeholders, be empathetic with my team bringing out the best from them and be a strong networker. Our workplace needs this. The only advice to my younger self would be “Don’t be afraid to be ambitious”. In my late 20’s, I passed on several opportunities to step up because I always put my partner’s career’s first and wanted to be a good housemaker, a good wife, a good daughter in law etc. I am not suggesting we completely ignore our personal lives. But I think as women we need to be more comfortable with challenging the need to be perfect in every area of our life and play to a stereotype. Sometimes it’s OK to not fit into a box that society wants us to. It is ok to want to be independent and successful.

At Vanquis, I am excited that I have a female MD as a role model. But I am equally excited to have senior male managers and leaders who are inclusive, believe in meritocracy and are encouraging and supportive of my career goals. I am glad that we are sponsors of Woman in Data UK and all the work that is being done to address the imbalance of men and women in senior leadership positions. I really look forward to more diversity in our work space!

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