6 November 2019—Las Vegas, NV—Women in Research (WIRe) celebrated their third annual presentation of the WIRe MRX Diversity Champion Award at The Market Research Event (TMRE), recognizing Sophia Papadopoulos, Business Analyst at Kantar, as the first-place Gold award winner and Lindsey Brinkworth and Jess Mons, Research Analyst and Director of Business Intelligence at dscout, as the Silver award winners.
Gold award winner Sophia Papadopoulos is a Business Analyst at Kantar. An automation evangelist, she started off her career in the research industry. This fueled her enthusiasm for technology, leading her to be part of building Kantar’s innovative software solutions today. Sophia’s passion though, is inclusion and diversity. She has successfully set up the Pride@Kantar employee resource group connecting Kantar’s LGBT+ community and allies. She also works with the MRS to establish MRSPride, thereby expanding the horizons of this initiative and extending the network beyond the four walls of Kantar. She sits on the UK Inclusion and Diversity Steering Committee and the Global Technology Steering Group within Kantar.
Commenting on the award and the role of the industry, Sophia noted, “As a market research industry, our aim is to understand human behaviour and provide our clients with insights that reflect the diverse world we live in. We can only do that if we harness our own diversity and create a culture where everyone can contribute, be seen and flourish. I strongly believe that by saying something to support those around us, doing something to build up others and being a beacon, we can truly make a difference. If we are all driving for a positive change, it will happen.”
Silver award winners Jess Mons and Lindsey Brinkworth both hail from dscout. Jess is the Director of Business Intelligence at the mobile research platform dscout. They have dedicated over eight years to telling stories with data. From their 3+ years spent as one of the company’s Lead Research Advisors, they also gained experience designing, executing, and analyzing research projects to inform user-centered design across the tech, retail, CPG, and healthcare spaces. Jess identifies as trans and non-binary and is dedicated to making both physical and digital spaces more inclusive for their community. Lindsey is a Research Analyst with the Studio consulting team at dscout and considers herself to be a genuine ‘People Nerd:’ passionate about building empathy and understanding her participants. During her 3+ years with dscout, she has worked hand-in-hand with some of the world’s most innovative companies to help them uncover insights that drive their customer experiences forward. Her research expertise includes a multitude of subjects—from tech habits and in-context product validation to abstract topics like human relationships and personal health care. Lindsey strives to be an ally for underrepresented groups—pushing the industry to become a more inclusive space for researchers and participants from inside out.
“As someone who identifies as trans and non-binary,” Jess shared, “[the project for which the team was nominated] was extremely important to me. It’s crucial that we bring diverse voices to the forefront and challenge the way we design our digital forms and spaces. The beauty of being human is that we are constantly evolving, as is the language we use to describe ourselves. Research and design should reflect this.” Echoing this sentiment, Lindsey noted that, “From a researcher’s perspective, we have a responsibility to represent people as they are, not bucket them based on what we think they are. In this industry, tension exists between our desire to create groups for efficiency and our desire to deeply understand individuals. Increasingly, the industry is shifting from “generalizing by demographic” to “understanding through behavior.” I’m excited to enable and encourage that shift.”
The MRX Diversity Champion award was created to honor individuals of all gender-identities who are actively embracing all aspects of diversity, encouraging investment in a diverse workforce in market research, and embodying the values of respect, dignity, autonomy, and equality. The award was created in collaboration with TMRE and was presented to Denene Jonielle Rodney, Founder of Zebra Strategies, in its inaugural year and was awarded to Babita Earle and JD Deitch last year. WIRe Founder Kristin Luck applauded this year’s award winners, sharing that, “As Women in Research expands in scale and scope, it is increasingly important that we champion an intersectional, wholly inclusive market research sphere and this year’s winners are all steadfast advocates of a truly inclusive industry. We’re so pleased to honor them all today and thrilled to watch the industry change and evolve under the leadership and motivation of these passionate and brilliant researchers.”
About Women in Research
Women in Research (WIRe) is a global non-profit that champions diversity in the marketing research industry, supporting events and educational programming across five continents. WIRe programming facilitates leadership, entrepreneurship, mentoring and other career development goals. WIRe’s mission is to foster inclusion and advance the contributions and voice of women and other marginalized communities in research, both for themselves and the greater good of the market research industry. www.womeninresearch.org
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