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Keboola Queens: Celebrating Women Making Waves in Data & AI

Happy International Women’s Day! 🙌

Life at Keboola
March 8, 2024
Keboola Queens: Celebrating Women Making Waves in Data & AI
Happy International Women’s Day! 🙌

Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress -  this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is such a critical and timely focus! 

Working in tech, we’re painfully aware of the gender imbalance across the industry. It’s something we’re actively challenging at Keboola by founding communities and delivering educational programs exclusively for women in data and AI. We continue to work on it to this day and are proud to support leading communities such as Czechitas Digital Data Academy.

Today, we want to shine a spotlight on a selection of  Keboolian women from across our organization. Let’s hand it over to the superheroes themselves and hear what sparks passion inside them and what it’s like working in data and AI. 👇

Olivia Morris-Husemeyer

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I’m a bit of a newcomer here, having joined the Keboola Leadership Team in December 2023 as VP People.

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

It’s been an exciting time for the company. In November, Keboola received $32M in funding, the largest series A investment in Central Europe in 2023. 

We have everything to play for; I’m focused on both the rapid growth and global expansion of our world-class team, whilst maintaining our “obývák” culture. 

What are your personal and professional goals?

I’d love to join Great Britain’s show-jumping team for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics! 

Other than that, being happy and productive at work, and spending quality time with my family. 

Who are the women that inspire you the most?

All women who have faced adversity or unwarranted backlash and yet maintained their class and composure throughout. 

I believe that time eventually serves ‘popular culture’ justice. 

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

Put in the hours and go the extra mile. Always come with a solution alongside a problem (or an offer to help find one). Success is not a zero-sum game - there’s enough for all talent to succeed. 

And finally - everyone has career ups and downs. That’s life. True grit is demonstrated in the toughest of times, not the best of them.

Kiran Bajar

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I’m the Director of the UK office and the Chief of Staff, CRO office. 

In my spare time, I’m a board trustee for a cancer charity and I’m also a secondary school governor. I enjoy working in strategy and facilitating the successful operations of entities, whether they’re businesses, schools or charities. 

I joined Keboola in January this year and have loved working with everyone on numerous different projects. 

My hobbies include listening to motown music, swimming and reading crime thrillers.

Last and certainly not least, I’ve been married to a VERY patient man for nearly 14 years and we have two children who are complete opposites. Our son is a chess champion who enjoys learning about coding and robotics, while our daughter will grow up to either be a Fortune 100 CEO or a criminal. It genuinely could go either way with her. 

What are your personal and professional goals?

Personally, I strive every day to create a stable and loving environment for my little team. 

Professionally, I want to continually learn and develop my skill set, work with inspiring people, and add value to the company I work for.

This year, International Women's Day emphasizes 'Invest in women: accelerate progress'. What's your take on this theme?

Investing in women means investing in girls. Education is a powerful tool and it’s what completely transferred the trajectory of my life. The more we invest in girls’ education internationally, the quicker their trajectory to success will be.

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

The AI and data domain is still predominantly male. We shouldn’t wait to be invited to the table - it’s up to us to pull up our own chair. 

Secondly, collating information about a career in data and AI isn’t enough. Reach out to people and speak with them, ask questions, shadow them for a week, and join LinkedIn communities to learn more about tangible ways they can get involved.

Bara Smerhovska

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I’m the Marketing Operations Manager at Keboola and I’ve been here for nearly 2 years now. I enjoy kickboxing (I recently fought out a blue belt) and long walks with my 38-kilo forever puppy Daisy, a White Swiss Shepherd. 

I also love traveling, spending time with my family and friends, hiking, and all kinds of sports.

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

It’s been a wild ride - challenging yet exciting! I’ve grown along with Keboola and learned so much through the process. I am glad to be a part of it. 

I love the work-life balance that Keboola offers too - the level of freedom regardless of gender.

What are your personal and professional goals?

Fulfillment, balance, and happiness in both spheres of my life.

This year, International Women's Day emphasizes 'Invest in women: accelerate progress'. What's your take on this theme?

For me, it's about actively supporting and empowering women in every aspect of life, encouraging them to pursue their passions, dreams, and visions. It's also about nurturing collaboration and mutual support among all of us.

Who are the women that inspire you the most?

All strong women who courageously stand up for their beliefs and pursue their dreams, regardless of others' opinions.

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

Don't set any limits—just do it! Believe in yourselves and your abilities. Don't hesitate to ask questions or seek help and mentors. Be creative and passionate. And remember, your perspectives and skills are essential in shaping (not only) technology's future.

Magdalena Smith

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I’m Magdalena and I currently look after our wonderful partners. I joined Keboola in January 2015 after having my first-born baby, and I moved through various sales roles before settling in Partnerships. 

I love skiing and all sorts of sports, gardening, listening to podcasts, strength training, history, and even archeology when I have some spare time, which doesn’t happen very often with my two tigers (5 and 9)! Sometimes I am lucky and manage to drag them with me - they can get very excited about treasure hunting and muscle building! 

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

It’s been a hell of a ride and I feel incredibly lucky to have seen Keboola evolve from a small-time player into the powerhouse it is today. 

What I love most is that no matter where you are in the company, your ideas matter and they might just get the green light! The most important thing for me is the fact that as a mom, I can mold my work schedule to fit around my family. That flexibility is everything to me.

What are your personal and professional goals?

Balance, fulfillment and satisfaction in both my personal and professional life. 

My ultimate goal? Watching my boys thrive, chase their dreams, and blossom into amazing humans.

Who are the women that inspire you the most?

Coco Chanel, Angela Davis, Regan Hillyer, and all the badass women out there who fearlessly speak their minds and break the mold.

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

Don't sweat it and trust in yourself! With a can-do attitude, there's nothing we can't tackle. It's all about staying committed and working together as a team. 

If you stumble along the way, dust yourself off and keep pushing forward. We're all in this together, and amazing things happen when we stick together.

Vendula Burdova

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I work in Talent Acquisition here at Keboola and am just approaching my fifth month with the company.

I’m a 100% sports person, with a passion for animals and my family. I like running, diving, horseback riding, hiking, seasonal sports, and practicing yoga to calm down a bit!

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

A speed race! I see things changing daily/weekly/monthly and I love how many women are a part of the company.

What are your personal and professional goals?

To be a valuable person in both areas!

This year, International Women's Day emphasizes 'Invest in women: accelerate progress'. What's your take on this theme?

I think it’s about creating more opportunities for women in their career growth and emphasizing the need to support working mothers.

Who are the women that inspire you the most?

Our HR team :) 

Oh, and Madeleine Albright.

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

Just do it!

Eliška Svobodova

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I'm about to mark my third anniversary at Keboola, but I actually completed my first Keboola data project back in 2017 as part of Czechitas Digital Data Academy. I kicked off my journey here with the Customer Success Team and just recently made the switch to Product Operations. 

Outside of work, I’m an outdoor enthusiast! I like mountains at any time of the year and with any sports equipment. I love ski mountaineering, cycling, alpinism, canyoning, you name it. Plus, we're fortunate enough to have our very own custom-built camper van for our adventures.

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

It's been quite the adventure! At times, I'd even describe it as a bit chaotic, but that's just the nature of a rapidly expanding, energetic, and thriving company.

I really appreciate the culture at Keboola. Our managers and leadership team recognize that life isn't solely about work. Even the founders of Keboola are very family-oriented and protect their personal time. Work hard, play hard. 

The flexibility here is also fantastic. You get your stuff done and then have the freedom to disappear for a few days to the mountains at short notice when the weather looks promising. It's one of the perks I truly enjoy.

This year, International Women's Day emphasizes 'Invest in women: accelerate progress'. What's your take on this theme?

This theme strongly resonates with me but also with the Keboola culture. I’m amazed at how super smart everyone is here, both men and women!
Keboolians aren’t just smart though - they strive to be even smarter. There is a strong culture of continuous learning, improving, giving and getting feedback. One of the company's core values is “Learn! When we aren’t learning, we are failing”. And they mean it (while having a lot of fun along the way).

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

The most important message is to be passionate about what you do. Passion sparks curiosity and drives innovation. Passion not only keeps you going when things get tough, but also inspires others around you. 

So, embrace your passion fearlessly and don't be afraid to pursue your dreams in the dynamic and ever-evolving fields of data and AI if that’s what you’re enthusiastic about.

Kristýna Kaucka

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I joined the Keboola Product Team in Autumn 2020 as a Product Operations Manager.

Most of my professional experience was on the marketing side (digital, e-commerce, SaaS) before this role. I first encountered people from Keboola in Autumn 2015 when participating in Data Girls (in Ostrava, as all the Prague sessions were sold out!). I also attended Datafesťák in the same year. A couple of years later, I became a Czechitas alumni and joined the company.

I love reading and traveling, and am currently trying to find a work-life (family) balance.

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

I joined during the pandemic, visited the office a couple of times, and then went fully remote. It took about six months to meet colleagues in person, all while diving into a new domain of knowledge.
Life at Keboola is a constant adventure, navigating the challenges of a fast-paced tech world where learning never stops. It’s challenging yet greatly enriching.

Keboola has given me the opportunity to develop as a professional while also working as a mother, all in a very supportive environment.

What are your personal and professional goals?

To be a good person. That's what matters most at the end of the day.

This year, International Women's Day emphasizes 'Invest in women: accelerate progress'. What's your take on this theme?

By creating workplaces that value and invest in women, we can speed up overall progress and success in business. It's as simple as that.

Who are the women that inspire you the most?

Women who inspire me the most are those who embody strength, independence, and kindness, especially those who are helping and empowering other women. 

And my mom, of course!

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

There's nothing to be scared of. Go for it!

Maria Buchenko

Can you share some details about yourself and your role at Keboola? 

I’m the Enterprise Account Executive at Keboola, taking care of 30 existing customers and scaling them while keeping them happy. I’ve been with Keboola for 2.7 years now!
I enjoy being in nature, driving down scenic routes, photography, and yoga. A new passion of mine is reading ancient texts (Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, Alchemy), and doing embroidery.  

How would you describe your journey at Keboola so far? What stands out for you as a woman at Keboola?

It’s been a rollercoaster - I love it! I’ve shifted a few angles to my customer-facing role as Keboola evolves, and I keep learning new things about both how to represent Keboola and myself. 
I love seeing the way Keboola supports young women in colleges and universities around the country, helping them learn about data and AI. 

What are your personal and professional goals?

Never stop learning and keep an open mind. 

We’re just floating on a rock in a universe that goes on forever, so if you have to be here, at least be happy, enjoy the experience and be the best version of yourself.

This year, International Women's Day emphasizes 'Invest in women: accelerate progress'. What's your take on this theme?

Just that. It’s something that every business should be doing if they want to go fast enough. 

Women are phenomenal learners, multi-taskers and overachievers. They’re scrappy, imaginative, creative, witty and collaborative. Hire more women, see what happens to your business.

Who are the women that inspire you the most?

Self-made authentic women, women with a grip and a great sense of humor. 

My mom.

What advice would you give to young women interested in data and AI careers?

You deserve to be here.
Don’t overthink it too much.
Get a seat at the table.
Do ask that question that’s on your mind.
Network, network, network.

The more women that join data and AI industries, the better chance we have at shaping the fundamentals in a diverse way and the easier it will be to navigate later down the line.

#getsmarter
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