A number of organizations have formed that promote women’s contributions in the technology field, with a focus on developing career paths, technical expertise, visibility within the field, and more.
In fact, at Acceleration Economy, our parent company’s annual Summit North America event hosts a Women in Tech track that brings together female leaders from the Microsoft business applications ecosystem to network with other women as well as learn from empowering messages and discussions. I was privileged to play an organizing role in that gathering in the fall of 2022.
So, I was excited when I recently had the opportunity to connect with a leader from another organization helping to advance women’s contributions to the technology sector: Women in Process Mining, or WIPM. This organization provides a community for women to strengthen their leadership skills, learn more about process mining, and amplify their influence.
How Women in Process Mining was Founded
Towards the end of 2021, Christine Hunter, VP of Field Marketing, North America at Celonis, had the opportunity to learn about organizations designed to help women advance in technology fields. This prompted her to begin researching and identifying the need for a community to serve women in the process mining space. Celonis, a pioneer in the process mining space, is one of the Top 10 AI/Hyperautomation providers selected by Acceleration Economy’s practitioner analysts.
In that process, she met Gabriela Galic, Manager, Deloitte, who had “Women in Process Mining” at the top of her LinkedIn profile. When she connected with Galic, the pair realized they both had the desire to create a community specific to the process mining discipline.
At the beginning of 2022, their plans started to fall into place. Hunter and Galic also connected with Natalie Wolf (Customer Success Consultant, Wolf Consulting), Dina Tzonev (Senior Manager, Celonis), and Julie Bruce (Director, Customer Value, Celonis). Together, they created the Women in Process Mining community, designing it to be a place for women in the field to magnify their influence and strengthen their leadership skills.
“We wanted to lock arms all together and pave the way forward for process mining and for more generations to come.”Christine Hunter, Celonis VP
The founding members knew they wanted a community, although they all had different ideas of what the community would look like. They rallied around three key areas the group would focus on:
- Online community: an ongoing place where women can connect and receive content and resources for learning
- Virtual and in-person gatherings: bringing women together for a more formalized structure, hosting panel discussions, and hearing from a combination of consultants and end-user customers sharing their best practices
- Mentorship program: a matching program through submissions on their website where members can apply to be mentors or mentees
“We wanted to strengthen their leadership. We wanted to magnify their influence – the influence they already have within their organizations,” Hunter says. “And we wanted to lock arms all together and pave the way forward for process mining and for more generations to come.”
Overcoming Challenges in the Process Mining Industry
Women in Process Mining aims to connect female leaders who either work in the field of process mining, are studying the concepts of the technology, or doing research in the field. The organization enables the voices of women to be heard while creating a community for sharing of best practices. It provides a global network for women to learn from each other, helping to shape the future of process mining technology and the digital transformation space together.
There is much research evaluating the representation of women in tech – and how limited that representation currently is. The founders of Women in Process Mining collectively recognize that there’s much room for growth. Their ongoing work is aimed at answering key questions:
- How do we find a way to ensure that women know there are opportunities in this space?
- How do women become educated about this technology?
- How do they see other women in process mining?
- How are they supported as they start their journeys within this technology landscape?
Paving the Way for Future Generations
“I really believe that representation matters. When you see someone who looks like you in a space that maybe you have or have not been in before, or maybe didn’t know that it even existed, once you see them, you start to connect the dots like, ‘Oh maybe that’s an opportunity that’s available for me as well’,” Hunter explains.
Women in Process Mining wants to continue to build on the organization’s progress to date to invite more women in so they can be representatives for future generations and feel supported once they’re in this segment of the tech market.
Hunter emphasizes how individuals don’t have to hold a background in technology to join Women in Process Mining — you just have to have an interest and willingness to learn. “Whether you’re on the marketing side or a content creator or video production…maybe you’re on the technical side or services or consulting…there are so many different roles within tech.” It’s not a one-size-fits-all journey to become involved with tech.
While it’s important for women to create change, it’s also important to partner alongside allies and be a welcoming voice in the industry. The three pillars — online community, virtual and in-person gatherings, and the mentorship program — have enabled women in the process mining industry to be immersed in the community and connect with allies.
For instance, mentorship provides an opportunity for two-way learning and connection for women to grow in their careers. Mentors with more experience can reach back to help a mentee who’s at an earlier stage in their career. Additionally, the organization is having conversations with various universities to bring education and mentorship around process mining to students. These connections with universities start either through personal connections that women in the community have with a university or through the Celonis Academic Alliance program.
“It’s super important to get connected to larger communities for networking and growing our own personal learning,” Hunter says.
Women in Process Mining at Celosphere 2022
During Celosphere 2022, Celonis’ annual customer conference that took place in November, the organization hosted a panel discussion where panelists shared their personal journeys of how they became involved with process mining as well as how they push digital transformation initiatives forward within their own organizations. They spoke about cultivating high-performance teams and how diversity, not only in people but also in thought, is critical in creating a path forward.
In fact, “creating new perspectives” was a major theme at Celosphere. “When you have a diverse set of voices or thoughts, you can bring new perspectives to the table. That’s so important for continuing to innovate within a company and progress your business forward,” Hunter says. Other key takeaways included discussions on how representation really matters and not being afraid to fail.
Hunter said she’s enthusiastic for another year with the Women in Process Mining community. Over the next year, they are looking forward to expanding the network globally, as they are eager to welcome more women and allies to the community.
They have plans to grow their mentorship program by hosting more networking and education events, both virtually and in person. Additionally, they will be partnering with universities as well as other end-user and customer organizations.
These expansions will enable Women in Process Mining to continue propelling its mission forward: Elevating the voices of women, magnifying their influence, and paving the way for greater leadership and representation in process mining.
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