Meet Meg Thomason: Lead Data Scientist at Spin
When Lead Data Scientist, Dr. Meghan Thomason (who goes by Meg), joined Spin, she became more than a member of the Engineering Team, she stepped into the roles of employee organizer, leader, and culture champion.
In just over one year, Meg has made an incredible impact at Spin. She joined the Diversity and Inclusivity team, the Women’s Network, and Spin’s Pride Network. She was also a founding member of the Parents’ Network and the Women in Engineering Network– a group specifically created to support the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented genders in technical roles. Today, 22% of engineers at Spin are women.
“I can think of many reasons it’s important to have women in technical roles,” shares Meg. “The one I think is especially critical is to make sure women are involved in building the products we use on a daily basis.”
Before joining Spin, Meg earned her PhD in Ecology in 2015. She spent a decade researching natural conservation. Specifically, she studied native plants and invasive species in California ecosystems. After her work as a researcher and postdoctoral researcher, she left academia and applied her skills in statistics and coding to a career in data science at a mobile game publishing company.
Today, as Lead Data Scientist on the analytics team at Spin, Meg likes to joke that she’s actually a data therapist, helping people think through and talk through their data problems. The most rewarding moment is when she can use data to help solve a problem and contribute to a business decision at Spin. Plus, she is able to combine her data experience with her passion for conservation, explaining, “Micromobility is moving us towards a less carbon-thirsty future. Past jobs have been fine and fun, but it is nice when you feel like your role means a little bit more.”
Meg continues to make her role mean a little bit more with her commitment to multiple Employee Network Groups at Spin. Of the Women in Engineering Network specifically, the biggest reward for Meg is to see the group grow. “The more women you get in the group, I think the easier it is to bring in more women,” Meg explains. The network has now expanded to include women in roles from other parts of the company including hardware, mechanics, and market managers.
“We welcomed them into our group because I have a feeling they know what that feels like to be someone who is underrepresented in their field. Every once in a while, it’s nice to know that there’s a group of people who kind of understand what it’s like to be in your shoes.”
When asked about the advice she has for other women in the workplace, her number one recommendation was to ask questions. “I feel like creating space to ask questions is one of the most important things you can offer to someone learning something new. And I certainly benefited from that.”
“I have a philosophy that there are no dumb questions. But still, there is something about being in a room of women that adds a level of comfort to asking any question. There’s just something really liberating about that.”
At Spin, we’re incredibly grateful that Meg passes on this importance of asking questions and creating a safe space for questions to be asked on her team, in Employee Network groups, and beyond.