Process Mining may still be an emerging area of technology, but it already has its own group dedicated to women working in this area, in a bid to ensure its development is diverse and open for all.
What is Process Mining? It's defined as a discipline for discovering, monitoring, and improving business processes as they are, not as you think they might be. In its most simple terms, it’s a way to get a digital X-ray or MRI of processes by analyzing the data flowing through an organization.
As Process Mining has recently been given its own Gartner Magic Quadrant, giving it the official seal of approval as a technology category, interest in the tech is likely to grow. It also has its own women’s group, ready to ensure that as more organizations start deploying process mining, women aren’t left behind on leading projects and spearheading development.
Christine Hunter, VP, Field Marketing North America at Process Mining pioneer Celonis, has been working in this area since 2019. When her former employer struck a partnership with a company that had Process Mining capabilities, she was part of the launch team supporting customers in their transformation. She joined Celonis in 2020, and in late 2021, a colleague pointed her to a Women in RPA organization:
I looked at that, I looked at other groups and I started to wonder, is there one of these groups for women in Process Mining as well. I quickly saw that there wasn't, and started to reach out to some of my colleagues internally and ask them if they wanted to be part of a founding team to form this type of group and organization.
Hunter was joined by three other women keen to participate, and then got connected to Gabriela Galic, a manager at Deloitte who had an idea for a similar group:
When Gabby and I connected, we saw there was a gap in the market, that there were many conversations being led around Process Mining but there wasn't a community yet formed for the women in this field.
We thought this is a really fantastic opportunity to bring the community of women together for them to connect and know each other; and then to elevate their voices and the transformations that they are leading in their companies as a result of their use of Process Mining technology.
Galic works for the Center for Process Bionics at Deloitte, a division helping organizations to transform their business and operations; Process Mining is one of the key drivers for the transformation projects. She has been working in this field since 2016, and is a former Celonis employee. She says:
I started at Celonis during my time at university, as an intern in the Solution Engineering department. I was doing several proof of concepts at clients, analyzing the process and coming up with insights.
After having worked in the process mining field for over 5 years, Galic realized the need for focus on women in the industry. She explains
Looking at how Process Mining was growing, most of the time I saw all the men in the industry and women were really underrepresented and are still underrepresented, in tech and also in Process Mining.
We have women in tech, women in AI, women in cloud, but there's no such company for women in Process Mining. Now we have a category within the Gartner Magic Quadrant, which shows that process mining is a real market, but there was a community for Process Mining missing.
Hunter and Galic, along with three other women working in the field, founded Women in Process Mining (WIPM), which hosted its first event in April 2022.
The mission of the group is a community where women in Process Mining can strengthen their leadership, magnify their influence and then pave the way for Process Mining together. To achieve this aim, there were a few different offerings the founders wanted to provide to bring this community together.
The main one is the WIPM LinkedIn community, which currently has nearly 600 members and is continuing to grow week by week. The group brings people together for live conversations through virtual or physical events, featuring speakers who share their best practises and learnings from their experience with Process Mining. There is also the opportunity for mentorship. Hunter adds:
As we have more people that come into the community, there are other creative ideas around how we can extend this, whether it's through academia, other educational things, video or written content, to elevate the voices of these women so that they can learn from each other.
WIPM is open to anyone working in the Process Mining space, and is very much a global group. It has just signed up a new mentor from China, there’s a lot of interest from Latin America, and its last panel was made up of members from Portugal, Spain and Germany. Hunter adds:
We see people from different walks of life - people who are studying, they may still be in university; we have people who are more advanced in their studies, doing a Masters or PhD; and we have people who are early in a career in Process Mining, or later in their career as well. We really wanted to connect all these different groups together through this community.
To qualify as a WIPM mentor, people need to meet certain criteria, including at least five years’ experience in Process Mining, or as a leader in Process Transformation or Process Management. The program is open to both genders, and the group is seeing a lot of engagement from men wanting to support the community. Galic adds:
We have mentors who are VPs of big tech companies who have been working in the Process Management field for 20-plus years. Now Process Mining is getting more traction in organizations, this is becoming a topic they care about.
As well as supporting the progress of women working in the space, WIPM will have wider benefits for the development of Process Mining technology and its use within organizations. As Process Mining is still in the early stages of recognition in the marketplace, there's still a lot of education needed. Hunter explains:
Because it’s newer, you may not have people in your own company that have that depth of experience, it’s maybe the first time that a company has looked at this technology. That's why we see it as really important to bring these voices together, we can accelerate the learning through our virtual communities.
When people are sharing - I wish I would've known when I started, these were the things to do - then the next generation is able to accelerate and not make the same mistakes. Being able to connect people across companies, across different backgrounds helps them to understand how to get started quickly, and how to move from getting started to growing and expanding their practise in Process Mining.