A Data(2X) Byte with Neeraja Penumetcha

Data2X August 28, 2020

Meet Data2X’s Senior Manager of Programs and Operations, Neeraja Penumetcha.

To give Data2X partners and friends an opportunity to get to know our team, we’re conducting short Q&A’s with each of the Data2X staff members.

What is your role on the team?

I am the Senior Manager of Programs and Operations, which includes working closely with our partners, shepherding some of our programs, and ensuring smooth operations for the team.

What were you doing professionally before you came to Data2X?

I came to Data2X from another UN Foundation initiative, the Clean Cooking Alliance, where I worked on international standards, research, policy, and everything in-between. Prior to that I was in global health, focused on the intersection of technology and healthcare.

Why do you care about gender data and what is one thing you want people to know about it?

The first step to building a solution is defining the problem. Without gender data, we are attempting to solve global problems half-blind, so any solution will necessarily be incomplete. By collecting and acting on gender data we can increase gender equality and make real progress on health, civic engagement, education, and so much more.

What gender or data-related book should people have on their reading lists?

I am going to cheat and recommend one of each. Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise connects statistical analysis to practical examples, and in the process highlights the need for high-quality data and a clear understanding of context. In Whose Story is This?, Rebecca Solnit discusses the ongoing shift in how the voices and stories of women (and other historically marginalized groups) are newly being heard. To me, this mirrors the ongoing shift to make these same lives more visible in data.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I enjoy traveling, both to see friends and family and to explore new places. I am also always on the lookout for a new book to read.

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