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The power of community and social impact is beyond imagination! Back in 2016, when an opportunity came to me to become Australia’s first Stanford Ambassador for Women in Data Science (WiDS), I put my hand up without having a very clear and detailed plan of how I would be able to pull off Australia’s first WiDS conference by myself. The WiDS initiative aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide—regardless of gender—and to support women in the field. It resonated right away with me as an advocate for women in technology.
As the Rumi quote goes, "as you start to walk on the way, the way appears." I hosted the debut conference and created a platform to provide an opportunity to share the latest data science research by professors, experts, and industry leaders; and helped women connect with potential mentors and collaborators in the field. Help and support poured and with 100% female speakers and hundreds of attendees in person and online. I couldn’t be prouder to have created a collaboration platform to celebrate, recognize, and encourage women and young girls in the field of data science, analytics, and technology; and to have helped create a tidal wave of opportunity for women to get into leadership by exchanging career advice with amazing female scientists, engineers, and tech leaders in Australia through WiDS. Such is the power of community!
This year, in advance of the March 2, 2020, Global WiDS Conference, I invite you to build a team, hone your data science skills, and join in a predictive analytics challenge focused on social impact. The WiDS Datathon 2020 challenge is to create a model that uses data from the first 24 hours of intensive care to predict patient survival. The dataset is available online on Kaggle, and the competition has just started on January 13, 2020. It closes on February 24, and winners will be announced at the WiDS Conference and via livestream.
ANYONE around the world can participate, from those new to data science to veterans of the field. Form teams of up to four with at least 50% women participation. Male champions are wholeheartedly welcomed to participate and help create a supportive environment for women worldwide to learn data science.
At the beginning of a Datathon, people may not know where to get started and may seek others to form teams, for advice, or for brainstorming ideas. The Alteryx community is very well known for its support, encouragement, and the momentum of passion the engaged members display. I urge the experts in the field to help coach and mentor the aspiring data scientists, the men and women in technology who wish to participate in creating a social impact. WiDS Datathon 2019 participants included a mother/daughter team, which also spanned the UK and Spain; a team with members in Sweden and Nigeria; and teams from LaPaz, Bolivia, who met weekly to create new submissions. Let’s take up this thrilling challenge!
With momentum building up all over the world, an enormously powerful growth driver is waiting to reach its full potential—that of its women and girls. I can’t wait to see many more opportunities open for women and young girls in the fields of data science, analytics, and technology.
Form a team, take up the challenge, and make a social impact! The Datathon closes February, 24. SIGN UP NOW! And click here for more info.