Celebrating the women of Digital Science
For this year’s Ada Lovelace Day, I wanted to take a moment to give a nod to the exemplary women I am fortunate enough to work with on a day-to-day basis here at Digital Science. As Tim O’Reilly so nicely pointed out in his Ada Lovelace post from 2009, there are many ways to contribute to the world of technology, beyond strictly doing code. My female colleagues here exemplify that, each offering invaluable skill, expertise and utility to the company and the cause: of truly making research more efficient through better use of technology.
So this one is for the ladies.
It’s perhaps most appropriate to start this post off with a thank you to Annette Thomas, the CEO of Macmillan Publishers, our parent company, and one of Digital Science’s most ardent supporters. Annette’s vision, stewardship and willingness to take a risk has been instrumental to the creation and growth of the company. Annette has a long history with the company, joining Macmillan in 1993 as the cell biology editor for Nature magazine. She has served in a number of editorial and publishing roles since, before being appointed the CEO of Macmillan in 2007, including serving as the Managing Director of Nature. During her time, she’s been a key proponent of innovation in the company, and we’re incredibly grateful to have such a phenomenal woman at the helm and involved in our work.
Moving to our core team, we have Caitlin Trasande as our head of Science Metrics, where she works with a team of developers and computational linguists on tools and technology for measuring scientific contribution in the digital age. Caitlin came to us from Nature Publishing Group, where she used to manage the project “Nature Trends”. She also has been known to dabble in neurobiology, receiving her PhD in the subject from the University of Chicago.
Jumping to our text mining division, we have two women – one covering European sales (based here in London), the other covering the North American market (based on the east coast in the US), working to support our text mining company SureChem. Babeth Piveteau, the European Sales Manager, joined us with 15 years of experience in sales and business development at places like MicroPatent, LexisNexis and MatrixWare – an information retrieval start-up where she helped extend the business in areas such as semantic search and machine translation. Janice Stevenson, SureChem’s Sales Manager for the Americas is one of the most recent additions to the Digital Science family, also joining us from Micropatent as well spending time at SAP and American Express.
Complimenting the development work for SureChem we have Lezan Hawizy, one of our computational linguists on staff, who came on board from the Murray-Rust Lab at Cambridge University, where she worked on natural language processing and text mining within chemistry – key skills needed to support our text mining division and the cheminformatics work that SureChem conducts.
Supporting out Research Tools division, we have Laura Thomson, one of our product managers, who has spent time working in product roles at Science Navigation Group, British Standards Institute and Thomson Reuters. She also has a background in the life sciences, holding a PhD in biochemistry, as well as an MBA. Her insight into building out teams and products in the research space is no doubt sharpened by her diverse academic and business experience.
The following women work across the various business divisions, providing invaluable services to the staff internally, to the companies we incubate and partner with, as well as the community (myself falling into the last category there 🙂 ).
Liz Pitt, our account manager, works hand-in-hand with our finance team to manage our books, her fascination lying in maths and statistics. Prior to joining Macmillan (and consequently, Digital Science), Liz worked at Barclays, after retraining herself as an account following years as a primary school teacher.
There’s also our Marketing Manager, Georgina Gurnhill, who is in many ways “coming home” to our Crinan Street offices here in London where she used to work for our sister company, Nature. Georgina has held senior marketing positions at some of the top publishing companies and information providers, from Nature, to Elsevier, Thomson Reuters and the Institute of Physics. Her knowledge of the scientific research market is extremely helpful in expanding the reach and impact of our internal projects as well as for the companies we partner with.
And last but not least is Amarjit Myers, or “Marj” as we call her – our office manager. Amarjit joined us from NESTA FutureLab, and serves as the office linchpin, making sure all of the trains are running on time, and each division, employee and everything in between are adequately supported and welcomed – an oft overlooked, but nevertheless critical position in the company. We are fortunate to have her here to keep us all in line.
With that, I’d like to tip my hat to my esteemed female colleagues. It is truly heartwarming as a female technologist myself to be able to say on Ada Lovelace Day that I’m a part of both a technology company and one with a science bend – two main areas that today is designed to celebrate – alongside the colleagues listed above.
I hope you’ll take a moment today to think of the women who inspire you. For more stories like this, visit Finding Ada.