<< Back to WIRe

Innovation & Inclusivity: Prioritizing Psychological Safety in the Advancement of Women of Color

Kantar HQ

13 Apr



Innovation & Inclusivity: Prioritizing Psychological Safety in the Advancement of Women of Color

Event Details

As the call for greater D&I grows within the Market Research and Insights industries, it is imperative that companies reflect on the unique needs of their diverse teams. Women of Color are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of companies who hire diversely but fail to adapt company culture to truly support the advancement of their employees. The mental and emotional toll demanded of Women of Color when navigating the professional world in this new and evolving ecosystem is a topic that is both urgently pressing and rarely discussed. Our panel will discuss the professional and personal experiences of Women of Color in the MR industry, the red flags to consider when evaluating professionals roles, and the opportunities we can take to advocate for ourselves and our mental health toward a more equitable and supportive industry.

Stick around after the panel for networking, snacks, and more. A BIG thank you to Kantar, Fuel + The Focus Room, NAIL BITER, and CMB for supporting this event.

Event Location:

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Focus Room
Chadwick Martin Bailey


Sima Vasa

Sima Vasa

Advisor/Entrepreneur, Infinity Squared Ventures

Sima Vasa is a multi-faceted business leader in the market research and analytics space. Her broad range of expertise centers on P&L management, operations, business development, marketing, entrepreneurship to investment banking. Currently, she focuses on advising clients on overall business strategy, evaluation of strategic options, and execution of investment banking mandates via Oberon Securities, a middle market investment banking firm.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Sima is an active Women in Research executive member, serves on the Port Washington Public Library board of trustees as an elected official, and previously sat as the Chairman of SampleCon. Frequently taking the stage at national technology and market research conferences, Sima is the host of her own podcast, Data Gurus, which has received national recognition as one of the leading podcasts in the market research and data ecosystem vertical. Sima continues to serve on the board of directors of Paradigm Sample, a company that she co-founded.

She earned her MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business, her undergraduate degree from Drexel University, and she’s a former member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).

Dana Kim

Dana Kim

Founder/CEO, Highlight

Dana Kim is founder and CEO of Highlight, an agile in-home product testing platform. Dana spent 5 years at a boutique insights agency as a qualitative and mixed-method researcher for years, where she saw firsthand the difficulty of product testing. Determined to build a solution, Dana then got her MBA at The Wharton School, where she built Highlight: a high-growth research tech startup disrupting the in-home usage test and physical product research space. Highlight's platform streamlines everything from recruit to data set, including all the logistics of getting your product to your target customers. It boasts 90% survey completion rates, can get product in hands in days, and seamlessly collects targeted feedback at scale.

Rebecca Vega

Rebecca Vega

Marketing, Product Development & Innovation @ Function of Beauty

Originally from Albany, NY, Rebecca Vega received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Hofstra University and her Master’s in Data Mining & Predictive Analytics from St. John’s University. Upon graduating, she spent 5 years working in Client Development and Product Development at the NPD Group (now known as Circana), with a core focus on Luxury, Fashion, and Beauty.

Her in-depth experience growing up in the market research world led her to pursuing a career in CPG at Unilever, with a continued focus on data driven insights. Rebecca spent 2 years leading Category Management for Textured Hair, providing thought leadership and strategic guidance as the cornerstone for growth within the multicultural hair care industry. Rebecca also supported major retailers such as Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Whole Foods in addition to Unilever brands such as SheaMoisture, Dove, Suave, Nexxus, and TRESemmé. Her last position within Unilever focused solely on the Beauty Channel. As the Customer Business Manager of ULTA, Rebecca utilized her extensive background in consumer behavior and insights to drive profitable sales growth across their Omni-channel platforms.

Rebecca’s innovative mindset, strategic approach to the Curl category, and focus on thought leadership led to spearheading Product Development at DevaCurl. As the Sr. Manager of Global Brand Marketing, Rebecca wasresponsible for developing and implementing innovative new launches and breakthrough brand marketing strategies to drive consumer and professional awareness, trial, advocacy, and loyalty for the DevaCurl brand.

Now at Function of Beauty, Rebecca manages Marketing, Product Development & Innovation. She believes customization is the future of hair care and is excited to scale this digitally native brand to the next level.