Image courtesy of Dataminr.
Welcome to I Love My Job, the series where we hear from real women who really love their jobs. In this edition, we sat down with Serena Chaudhry Pandey, an Associate Director at Dataminr, the world's leading real-time information discovery platform. Dataminr delivers the earliest warnings on high-impact events and emerging risks from publicly available data sources, enabling effective risk mitigation and faster response for organizations in over 100 countries.
A multimedia journalist for over a decade, Chaudhry has reported from across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. She notably spent two years covering the war in Iraq for Reuters and was the BBC’s first international producer on the ground in South Africa to report on the death of Nelson Mandela.
Chaudhry made the shift from journalism to tech in January 2020, when she joined Dataminr’s domain experts team in their London Office. “I never really planned to move away from journalism; I'd wanted to be a journalist from the age of seven,” explains Chaudhry. But Dataminir’s work in regards to breaking news events intrigued her. “I was really interested in the fact that Dataminr has developed this artificial intelligence platform that is able to detect and alert on events even faster than journalists around the world,” she says. “I had been interested in the tech industry for a while, and I felt like this was a really good fit because it took my skills in the media industry and transferred them into a completely different industry.”
Chaudhry is also passionate about mentoring and developing young talent. She is a Freeman of the City of London's technology livery company, an Ambassador for One Young World, a fellow of the John Schofield Trust and the Raisina Dialogue and serves on the Global Leadership Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Dataminr.
In the video below, Chaudhry shares why she loves working at Dataminr. We also share lightly edited highlights from this video discussion in the following article.
What I really love about Dataminr, and what really attracted me to the company, was our mission in terms of using AI for good to really help the world and to help save lives. My career background was in journalism, and I was really attracted to Dataminr because of the fact that they've built this incredible artificial intelligence platform that really is able to detect events in real time and provide real-time alerts to clients on events happening anywhere in the world — really helping in risk mitigation and saving lives.
The culture at Dataminr is probably one of my favorite things… [For example,] when I had my interview at Dataminr, the people that I met and interviewed with left me feeling like I actually want to come to work at this company just to work with these people…
And, once I joined Dataminr, I realized that this is actually amplified across the company. What's really interesting is that we are in this huge growth space, so in the two years that I've been at the company, there've been many new employees around the world that have come on board. Every day, I learn something new from my colleagues…
The people that I've met and that I work with are amongst the smartest in the world…
And there are a lot of structures that the company's put in place to really help support this organic, beautiful culture. The one that I would say is probably one of my favorites is our DE&I employee resource group structure. We have a variety of different employee resource groups that really embody and embrace the different backgrounds and the diverse aspects of our Dataminr community…
I have felt very lucky to work for Dataminr — it's been a very supportive culture, and there's not just talk about wellness and DE&I, there's actually action, and, for me, behavior is truth.
There's a number of places where I've really felt supported by the company. The first one that I'd like to highlight is actually the fact that we have access to this incredible professional development fund. Each employee has access to quite a significant amount of money that you can use on an annual basis to really further your skill sets, and this is both hard and soft skills. For me, particularly as a manager at the company, it's been a great opportunity to leverage this to really develop my leadership skills, my management skills and also some of my technical skills…
There is [also] a lot of support around wellness, so behavior really is the truth, and you see this throughout and across the company. We have a lot of support in terms of access to different fitness and wellness apps. I've used several of them throughout the last two years, in particular when the pandemic has been really challenging. Also, from a mental health perspective, there's a lot of different support systems that we have in place.
In this context of the global pandemic that we've all been living through, one of the challenges that many of us have faced is really ensuring that we have work-life balance. I've really valued working at Dataminr because work and life are totally in harmony here. You're equally supported with flexibility around your work. So, if you have something that you need to attend to in your personal life, you're given the opportunity to come back to work later…
I would say, both as a manager and also having a manager, one of the things I really value is that when it comes to personal time off, we're always encouraged to tell our teams to really make sure that they switch off fully. I really value that part of working at the company.
Dataminr is incredibly supportive of women. It's one of the few places that I've worked where I really felt empowered as a female leader. I really have the opportunity to share ideas and have a voice at the table, which is incredibly important. And, particularly as a Woman of Color, being given that space to grow has really been phenomenal.
For other women that are looking to join Dataminr or that have joined the company already, I would say to be your authentic self and bring your best self to work. It really is an incredible place that is very supportive and that is very understanding. I have colleagues who are mothers, I have colleagues who are carers, and they're really given an opportunity to both have their own perspective and flourish in their career, but also they're very equally supported in their personal life aspect as well.
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