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Women's Month: Meet Selma Hadzic

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Women's Month: Meet Selma Hadzic

To celebrate women's month, we are sharing some of our inspirational community members here at SODA. Meet Selma Hadzic. Selma is a data tech lead freelancer with 10 years of experience building end-to-end data products and 5+ years of experience leading and scaling international teams.

She started as a statistician consultant with an obsession for machine learning and big data. Selma then became a data scientist where she could build machine learning models end-to-end and consult internal business teams on data-driven business optimisation. Finally, she became a data science manager and has been leading and scaling teams of data scientists and ML engineers, dealing with millions of data points per day.

Additionally, she is a founder and a certified professional coach, consulting tech companies to close the gender gap.

Her approach is threefold:

1. Empower females in tech and leadership (individual and group coaching, workshops)
2. Raise awareness (articles, presentations, workshops)
3. Recommend actions and lead company transformations (consulting)

Where did you study and what got you into your profession?

I studied engineering with a major in Data Science (Ecole Centrale de Lille) and I also have a Bachelor's in economics (Université Paris Dauphine). What got me into my profession was my passion and ease with mathematics, which made me consider a few options: finance, research, teaching and data science. I liked the fact that data science is a job you can do in a business context and in a team setting. You get to be at the crossroads of mathematics, technology and business.

What have been your biggest career and personal achievements?

One of my biggest career achievements is that I finally took the leap to become an entrepreneur last year and this is an incredibly exciting and rewarding adventure. The highest reward though, is when I can inspire others and especially women around me. Building a sorority of women who want to help one another and having a positive impact on them is the best reward possible.

As for my personal achievements, I am very proud to be speaking four languages and to be able to travel often and discover new cultures.

What is your current place of work and role?

Today, I am freelancing for different companies as a data lead and I am also consulting and coaching tech companies on how to empower women and become more inclusive in order to close the gender gap.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Do not try to fit in an environment that makes you shrink and self-doubt. Be authentic and trust yourself. And a beautiful insight from Elaine Welteroth: "when we derive our worth from the relationships in our lives -- the intimate ones, the social circles we belong to, the companies we work for -- we give away our power and become dependent upon external validation."

What does an equitable space look like for you? How can this create impact?

An equitable space for me is a world where everyone has the same chances for success and professional well-being independently from their gender, sexual orientation, origins, skin colour, social origins or religion, be it real or perceived. It is a space where everyone has a chance to speak up and to be listened to and considered and valued and recognised. It is also a space where parents, independently of their gender, can take care of their children as well as pursue a career without sacrificing either.

This can create an impact for multiple reasons:

1. more competent people (choosing from the whole pool instead of taking only from the over-represented group)
2. more creativity and innovation and better performance from having people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, context, cultures, experiences
3. better mental health at work from having a space where every one can fulfill their potential instead of shrinking in order to fit in the standards defined by the over-represented group
4. a healthier and happier society, where more people have control over their financial independence and work-life balance

Get in touch with Selma at or add her on LinkedIn.