Thursday, 9th March 2023, marks Women in Data’s flagship event at the InterContinental O2. This year’s event features renowned speakers and panels, training and networking opportunities and the launch of their twenty in Data & Technology Awards, Series 5.
The gender gap has been a persistent problem in the world of tech. However, there is a growing movement of women who are breaking barriers and making their mark in the industry. In this article, we will delve into Women in Data®, the UK-based organisation empowering women to pursue careers in data and tech.
At Whitehall Resources, we believe that diversity and inclusion are critical to the success of our business and the success of the recruitment industry as a whole. Today we celebrate gender diversity and commit to a future of providing a safe, inclusive, and respectful work environment for our employees, candidates, and clients.
What is Women in Data®?
Women in Data® (WiD) is a non-profit organisation that aims to empower women to pursue careers in data and technology. The organisation was founded in 2015 by Roisin McCarthy, who, as a recruiter, observed a decline in the number of female candidates applying for roles at every level. Collaborating with analytics expert Payal Jain, Women in Data was formed to tackle the problem and advocate for change.
Today, WiD has over 20,000 members worldwide and offers various resources, events, and mentoring opportunities to help women in the tech industry develop their skills, network with peers, and advance their careers.
The Need for Women in Data
Despite making up almost half of the global workforce, women are underrepresented in the tech industry. The gender gap is particularly pronounced in data science and analytics, where only 24% of the workforce is female. This is a concern not just from an ethical standpoint but also because diverse teams have been shown to be more productive and innovative. With the exponential growth of data and its importance in today’s world, it’s crucial to have a diverse and inclusive workforce to tackle complex data-related challenges.
Women in statistics and data science roles help to mitigate biases by providing alternative perspectives when extracting patterns and building algorithms from big data. They ensure that women are not left behind in a world where predetermined algorithms influence every aspect of our lives. Women in data science are crucial in developing unbiased AI systems that benefit everyone.
Gender diversity in data science also benefits businesses overall. Studies have shown that companies with greater gender diversity are more likely to exceed national financial goals and are linked to larger market shares, leading to more customers and revenue. Teams that are racially and gender diverse also exhibit higher levels of creativity, resulting in better performance and results. The most successful tech startups have two times as many women in senior positions when compared to less successful tech startups.
How Can We Encourage More Women to Pursue Data Careers?
Encouraging more women to pursue data careers is crucial for creating a more diverse and inclusive industry. Here are some ways to promote and support women in data science:
Access to education and training is one of the biggest barriers for women in data science. Providing more opportunities for women to learn data science skills can help level the playing field and create a more diverse talent pool in the field.
There are many ways to increase access to education and training for women in data science. For example, organizations can offer scholarships or sponsorships to women who want to pursue data science degrees or certifications. Universities and online learning platforms can also create more accessible and affordable programs for women who want to learn data science skills.
Mentorship and networking opportunities can also play a significant role in helping women in data science succeed. By connecting women with experienced professionals in the field, they can receive guidance and support to help them navigate their careers.
Representation matters. By showcasing the experiences of accomplished women in data science, we have the potential to encourage and embolden the next cohort of female data scientists. It is essential that we honour and uplift women such as Corinna Cortes, Monica Rogati, and Daphne Koller, who inspire and mentor others through their knowledge and impact.
Head of Google Research
Corinna Cortes is a well-known Danish computer scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of machine learning. She is currently a Vice President at Google Research in New York City and has been honoured with several awards and distinctions for her work.
Data Science and AI Advisor
Rogati has been recognised for her work in the field of data science, being named a “Big Data All-Star” by Fortune in 2014 and one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company in the same year. In addition, she has been featured in various media outlets, including the New York Times and Recode. VentureBeat also named her an “Enterprise Superstar” in 2013.
Founder and CEO, insitro
Koller is a computer scientist and former professor at Stanford University. She has received numerous honours for her work in the field of artificial intelligence and its applications in biomedical sciences. Her research interests include representation, inference, learning, and decision-making, with a focus on computer vision and computational biology.
Creating a workplace culture that supports and includes women is crucial for retaining and advancing women in data science. It is important to implement policies such as flexible working hours and parental leave to accommodate the needs of women in data science. Additionally, actively promoting gender diversity at all levels of the organization can help create a more inclusive workplace.
Flexible working hours can help women balance their work and personal responsibilities, which is essential for retaining them in the field. Parental leave policies can also provide women with the necessary support to return to work after having children. These policies can help ensure that women in data science are not forced to choose between their careers and family obligations.
Promoting gender diversity at all levels of the organization can help create a more inclusive workplace culture. This includes actively recruiting and promoting women in data science roles, as well as creating opportunities for mentorship and networking. Providing support for women in leadership positions can also help create a more inclusive workplace.
The Benefits of Joining Women In Data®
Women In Data® have a range of initiatives to support women entering and working in data science and analytics.
- Mentorship Programs: WID offers a mentorship program that pairs experienced professionals in the field with women who are just beginning their careers. The program enables mentees an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and gain insight into the industry.
- Networking Events: WiD hosts regular networking events for women to connect with like-minded peers and build relationships. Events feature prominent speakers, workshops and discussions on topics relevant to the industry.
- Training and Development: The organisation provides various courses, workshops and webinars such as data visualisation, machine learning and leadership development, helping women develop their skills and advance their careers.
- Community Engagement and Advocacy: WiD is committed to engaging with its community and raising awareness about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. The organisation regularly participates in industry events and collaborates with other organisations and businesses to promote its mission.
- Access to Careers with Industry Leaders: Women in Data® provides a platform for women to connect with prominent industry leaders enabling members to gain valuable insights into the industry and make meaningful connections.
- Personal Growth: The opportunity to learn new skills, connect with like-minded individuals and participate in events helps women to develop confidence, leadership skills and a sense of community. The organisation provides a supportive environment that encourages personal growth and empowers women to achieve their goals.
Women in Data®’s Impact
Since its founding, Women in Data® has had a significant impact on the tech industry. The organisation has helped countless women pursue careers in data and tech and has worked to create a more diverse and inclusive industry. Women in Data has also raised awareness about the importance of diversity and inclusion in tech, encouraging more companies to prioritise these values.
In addition, Women in Data® has helped to create a community of women in tech who support each other and share their experiences. This community has been instrumental in assisting women to overcome the challenges they face in the industry and has empowered them to pursue their goals.
Women in Data® has also worked with companies to improve their diversity and inclusion practices. The organisation has provided training and support to companies that want to create more inclusive workplaces and has helped companies recruit and retain more women in tech.
Women in Data® has significantly impacted the tech industry and helped create a more diverse and inclusive industry. The organisation’s initiatives have empowered countless women to pursue careers in data and tech. In addition, they have helped to create a community of women who support each other and share their experiences.
To learn more about the fantastic work Women in Data® is doing, take a look at the following links:
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get involved with Women in Data®?
WiD host a number of meet-ups, podcasts and events each year. To get involved, simply head over to the WiD website and register to hear about their latest events and how you can take part.
What is Girls in Data?
Girls in Data is a community of women and girls who are passionate about data, technology, and all the amazing things that you can do with them. They believe that anyone can learn and excel in these fields, regardless of their background or experience.
What is MenopauseX?
MenopauseX is an initiative led by Women in Data that aims to raise awareness and understanding of menopause in the workplace. Their goal is to create more supportive and inclusive environments for women going through menopause so that they can feel empowered to continue to thrive in their careers.?
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