Closing the Gender Gap at Verana


Verana Health

At Verana Health, we know the value diverse perspectives can add. While women are often underrepresented in data and technology, we strive for a more equitable workplace, with a strong presence of women in data science roles. It is estimated that only 26% of data science jobs in the United States are held by women. This under-representation could be due to a lack of female mentorship in the data science field or restrictive human resource policies. However, greater gender diversity in data science roles has been shown to benefit workplaces financially, socially, and culturally. It is estimated that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform their industry median. 

We invite you to read the perspectives of our Senior Vice President of People & Culture on gender diversity at Verana and a couple of our data science team stars below on their experiences as women in data science.

Ellenmarie Rhone
Senior Vice President, People & Culture

Diversity is important to build strong teams and organizations, and at Verana we strive to enable our women data scientists to succeed. Prior to Verana, I was working at a company where we helped women get back to work after a break, so I was coming from a very strong experience around empowering women and helping women advance their careers at all stages. From my first meeting with Miki [Kapoor, CEO at Verana Health], it was clear he was on board and committed to this, and had strong, talented women empowered and in senior leadership roles at his previous organizations. I knew that he and I would work really well together to give women a chance to contribute at senior levels in the company, especially in our data science and technology teams.

When we recruit for data science positions at Verana, we lead with the mission of the company. Our mission is what people are most attracted to: the ability to use data to do the most amazing things for actual patients. We consider ourselves very lucky to have quite a few female candidates for all of our data science positions, and almost 50% of our organization is female. We have great women candidates coming in and wanting to contribute here, and believe we are recruiting the best candidate for all positions. It is exciting how many women data scientists we have that are ready for leadership or working towards leadership roles in the company, and taking on lead senior technical roles or management jobs.

Claire Margolis
Clinical Data Scientist

In general, there’s an underrepresentation of women in the data science and technology space. It’s always unsettling to walk into a room and be the only woman or one of the only women there. Despite the fact that the majority of data science and tech leadership is male, it’s important to me to find successful women in tech roles to look up to as role models. I’ve been really fortunate in that at my prior job, my lab manager was a woman who encouraged conversations about promoting diversity. At Verana, I’ve had a great experience; many of my colleagues in the clinical data science, quality, and data insights groups are amazing women whom I admire and respect.

When considering Verana for my next role, the presence of women in Verana’s leadership and on our technology teams was a huge positive indicator for me. Our culture has been incredibly open and accepting of diversity; I feel that I personally have been able to succeed and flourish here as a woman in tech. It is clear that as a company we’re going to continue to talk and think about diversity and the ways in which we can promote the success of women in tech.

Bhavya Burugapalli
Clinical Data Scientist

Women have been the target of stereotypes and prejudices in many fields, including data science, to this day. However, there are women who have challenged these preconceived notions. With support and encouragement, many women have the potential to shine in their respective fields.

I have previously experienced being looked down upon as a woman in technology, which encouraged me to challenge myself and realize my potential. The naysayer’s words were a motivating factor for me to erase the conventional image about women. I wanted to prove them wrong by showing what women are capable of and what they can achieve.

To achieve success requires a nurturing culture where diversity and gender equality are not mere documents but rather an empirical approach by the organization as a whole. I have been fortunate enough to witness such a culture at Verana. 

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