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Esra Dogramaci (

The bigger picture

Data Journalism Awards adds 3 influential women to 2017 jury

March 13, 2017

The Data Journalism Awards welcomed three female journalists to its jury this year, and as part of the welcoming process, Marianne Bouchart, the manager for the competition, interviewed the new acquisitions who will be judging the entrants. The joint interview — with Yolanda Ma, Esra Dogramaci and Stephanie Sy — touched on their experiences innovating with data journalism in their previous jobs as well as their current positions. The trio also addressed their experiences as women working in the industry and talked about the role of women in news.

“How is it being a woman in your respective work environment? Do you feel it makes a difference? If so, which one and why?” Bouchart asked all three of them.

“Most of the data journalism teams in China are led by woman,” Ma, who co-founded the educational platform Data Journalism China, replied. “And I think they are doing really well.” Esra Dogramaci of Deutsche Welle spoke of a bit of a different experience throughout her career, in which she noticed a dearth of women in the business.

“Women are underrepresented not just in news coverage but in leadership positions, too,” Dogramaci, who previously worked at the BBC and Al Jazeera, said. “I have to admit, though, that being at Deutsche Welle, I see a lot more women in senior management and it feels like a much more egalitarian working environment. However, looking at my overall experience as a woman in news, you do face a lot of sexism and prejudice.” She pointed to the recent social media post by Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee, that discussed sexism at the startup as a description that she and other women can identify with.

Stephanie Sy of Thinking Machines said, “It’s important for us to speak up as women, and to practice intersectionality when it comes to other marginalized communities. As people who work with data, we can see past the aggregates and look at the complex messy truth.”

Bouchart noted that the three new jury members are pivotal additions since they represent regions of the world — Asia and the Middle East — that are commonly overlooked in the data journalism world. The interview touches on a host of other topics, including the advice they’d give to those applying for the Data Journalism Awards, the deadline for which is April 7.

Read the full Q&A at Medium.