Meet Bianca Vieira, one of Accelerate Her Future’s amazing Fellows from our Fellowship Circle 2021 winter cohort

Working primarily in the banking industry, Bianca is currently a Data Analyst within the Data and Analytics team at RBC. Her previous roles include an internship within the Global Finance Technology team at Scotiabank and an Operations Associate role at RBC. In her free time, she considers herself a huge foodie as she loves trying new restaurants and spending quality time with family and friends.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Bianca and delve into her career trajectory and beyond.

Advice for Aspiring Data Analysts

Passionate about strategic management and data analysis Bianca expands on her current role. 

“As a Data Analyst I work with other stakeholders in the business to assist them with their reporting and analysis needs.” She explains, “this involves understanding business requirements, collecting relevant information from several data warehouses and performing analysis to answer the necessary business questions.”

Bianca thrives on the ability to understand how data can improve decision making in various parts of the organization. By working with so many different stakeholders, she is learning about different products, features and benefits across departments and the pain points that can be solved with data. As a Data Analyst, she works with different technologies and tools and sees how they are leveraged.

When asked to give advice to recent graduates pursuing a career as a Data Analyst, Bianca reflects on lessons learned, “having worked in the role for about a year, I would tell anybody looking to enter this field to have an open mind and be willing to constantly learn.”

Bianca stresses the importance of staying curious when first entering any new role! “Be curious within your team and with all internal and external stakeholders.” Her tip is to book 1:1 coffee chats with different members of the team to better understand the types of projects they work on and who can support you when you are working on your own projects. With stakeholders, Bianca suggests asking thoughtful questions in order to understand the context of the business and products they are working on so that you can identify the best way to assist them with value-added data needs.

“There will be times where you won’t have all the answers to a request or might require clarification.” Bianca muses, “In situations like these, don’t be afraid to ask questions and let your team members know when you need extra assistance, it’s perfectly fine to admit you don’t know how to do something … yet.”

The Power of 10 Minutes Toward Wellness

In addition to working on professional development, it is vital to prioritize personal health and wellness, incorporating it into our daily lives. Bianca shared her tips with us, including practicing mindfulness and prioritizing exercise. 

“While everyday life can be so chaotic, in the last few months, I’ve tried to take at least 10 minutes before my work day to practice mindfulness using my Headspace app.” Bianca explains, “In addition, I have also been making movement a priority by consistently going to the gym and going on daily walks.”

“Through incorporating all these techniques, I have seen a positive improvement in my mood and the way I handle stress,” Bianca recalls. 

The feeling of stress and overwhelm can be a common occurrence in our personal and professional lives, making it feel like we don’t have a break to intentionally spend time with our mind. However as Bianca advises, “remember, something is better than nothing!” A daily meditation practice of just 10 minutes has been shown to rewire our brain, allowing us to more easily bring that same level of awareness to our everyday lives.

Benefits include increased focus and clarity, a greater sense of empathy and compassion, along with a more relaxed body and calmer mind. For example, studies show that 10 days of 10-minute meditation reduced irritability by 27%. Learn more about how to get started and incorporate a regular 10-minute meditation practice into your daily routine with Headspace, here.

Bianca also emphasises the benefits of self-care for those around us. 

“Health and wellness is such an important aspect in our lives and when life gets busy, we tend to neglect ourselves and how we treat our bodies and minds,” Bianca reasons, “However, when we prioritize ourselves, the positive outcomes not only impact us, but also impact the people around us. They also reap the benefits of our positive mood and our improved performance.”

“For anyone who wants to start incorporating health and wellness in their lives, I would advise them to start small; this makes the task at hand feel easy to accomplish,” Bianca recommends, “you don’t have to walk for an hour every day, setting a goal to walk 15 minutes a day feels doable and is easy to add into a daily routine.”

Creating Equitable Workplaces for Indigenous, Black and women of Colour

Bianca also advocated for strategies that employers can use to recruit Black, Indigenous and women of colour. 

“Employers need to show this demographic that they understand the importance of diversity and inclusion,” Bianca explains. “As women of colour, we want to feel comfortable in the workplace and that we have equal opportunity as our male counterparts.”

In order to show Black, Indigenous and women of colour that their leaders and workplace are committed to their growth and advancement, Bianca suggests:

  • Ensuring senior leaders sponsor women of colour
  • Giving women of colour opportunities to showcase their skills
  • Ensuring their voices are heard in meetings
  • Investing in their career and professional development
  • Having women of colour in leadership positions
  • Having well resourced employee resource groups with leadership support

Lessons from AHF’s Fellowship Circle to Be An Active Leader and Ally

Before joining AHF’s Fellowship Circle in 2021, Bianca was at an early stage in her professional career, “with the pandemic, I found it particularly hard to expand my professional network and wanted to find a community of like-minded individuals that would help me navigate the corporate world through authentic discussions.”

She soon found her motivation to apply for the Fellowship Circle, “when I came across the AHF Fellowship Circle on LinkedIn, it looked like the perfect opportunity that I couldn’t pass up!”

“I was able to have vulnerable conversations with Mentors and Fellows on tackling imposter thoughts and standing up in the workplace as a woman of colour.”

“As a result of talking to all these amazing individuals, I have learned how to be an ally to other women of colour and to constantly take note of my accomplishments in my career.” Bianca recalls, “now almost two years later, I can say the AHF fellowship circle played a vital part in the confidence I have in my current role and workplace.”

Bianca provided us with some inspirational words, “the hope that I have is strengthened when I see women of colour already in leadership positions, who have broken so many barriers acting as mentors for early talent.”

“I believe this is extremely important for the next generation as hearing stories of existing leaders who look like us and share the same lived experiences, give younger women the confidence and belief that they too can achieve their professional goals.”

“I also believe that communities and programs such as AHF’s Fellowship Circle are so valuable for the next generation, as they teach us the importance of allyship and how to be an advocate for Indigenous women and other women of colour in the workplace.” Bianca considers, “with this knowledge, the next generation also knows how to stand up for not only themselves, but other historically excluded communities in the workplace, and therefore, together I believe we will become stronger and see more direct representation and inclusion in these industries.”

Thank you, Bianca, for your deep reflections and moving words!