Dilraj is a sustainability and social justice practitioner and a passionate advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). With extensive experience in programme management, policy roles, and working with marginalised groups, Dilraj embodies the spirit of a change-maker.
Her commitment to creating positive change led her to seek opportunities to enhance her data literacy skills, ultimately leading her to the Data Leadership Programme. She received the Data Leaders Inspiring Change Scholarship supported by Data Skills for Work to encourage inspiring women across all sectors to participate in high-quality data skills training.
Equate Scotland is a statutory programme hosted by Edinburgh Napier University committed to promoting gender equality in the STEM sector. Women only make up 25% of the workforce in the field. Equate Scotland recognises the urgent need to foster inclusivity and create opportunities for women to thrive in STEM.
Dilraj had worked in the data industry for over ten years but needed to become more data-literate. She recognised that data-driven leadership held immense potential. She was keen to bridge the gap between her existing expertise and the leadership skills necessary to effectively leverage the power of data and work with her team to implement strong data management, strategy and governance work.
Designed to equip leaders with the necessary tools to enhance their data knowledge, The Data Lab’s Data Leadership Programme focuses on the leadership skills required to design, resource, and implement a data strategy that facilitates organisational change. Dilraj needed it to make the next steps in Equate Scotland’s data journey.
“This course has been super beneficial as it’s helped me become data-literate. For someone who’s worked with data for aeons, I didn’t realise that there was so much more to learn.”Dilraj Sokhi-Watson
The Data Leadership Programme combines in-person and remote sessions, covering various themes such as data governance and strategy, innovations in data and AI, and recruiting diverse data talent. It caters to leaders across the United Kingdom, regardless of organisation size or industry, aiming to enhance their data skills, team performance, and capacity for influencing and inspiring change.
Participation in the Data Leadership Programme has yielded transformative outcomes for her and Equate Scotland. Through the course, Dilraj has developed a newfound understanding of data governance, data management, and data strategy, which has expanded her skill set and enhanced her leadership abilities in a data-driven context.
Learning from experienced practitioners across different sectors provided Dilraj with invaluable real-world examples, reinforcing the practical application of theories and techniques.
Since the Data Leadership Programme, Equate Scotland has initiated a baseline review of industry data to establish the future direction of their work. Dilraj has been able to leverage her new network to share intelligence on available data sets and identify gaps as they relate to their key areas of interest. This data-driven approach will provide Equate Scotland with valuable insights and help shape their future initiatives effectively.
Capacity building has been another key outcome. Inspired by her learnings from the Data Leadership Programme, Dilraj aims to enhance her team’s data literacy skills. To achieve this, she has begun training her programme management team and administrative staff members to become more data-aware and data-literate. This will continue to foster a culture of data-driven decision-making and knowledge within the organisation.
Equate Scotland continues to champion gender equality in STEM, benefiting from Dilraj’s enhanced data literacy and leadership skills. With a solid foundation in data-driven decision-making, Dilraj and Equate Scotland are well-positioned to continue driving change to create an inclusive and innovative STEM sector that Scotland can be proud of.