This year, I was thrilled to become a regional ambassador for Women in Data Science (WiDS), an initiative that aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide and to support women in the field. WiDS hosts a one-day technical conference held at Stanford University each year featuring amazing thought leaders in data science from academia, industry, non-profits and government. Through its ambassador program, over 200 WiDS regional events have either taken place or are still being organized to take place over the next few months in cities across the globe. Earlier this month, we held the first annual WiDS Broomfield @ Alteryx event, featuring a lively panel with three amazing women who are passionate about data science and analytics:
We discussed a variety of topics focused around diversity and inclusion in the data science and broader technology space. It was fascinating to hear from Alexandra, Julie and Radhika on their own personal journeys in data science and analytics, and how our community of women and allies can help to engage other women in get involved in STEM – from influencing parents to encourage their young daughters to pursue activities in the field, to engaging professors at higher education institutions to optimize their curriculum with the right tools and accessibility for students. Check out the panel recording:
We want to hear your thoughts! Please comment below. For more information on WiDS – as well as recorded video sessions from the WiDS Conference at Stanford – visit www.widsconference.org.
First, Bravo!!! *enter applaud sounds here*
I watched this video from my couch with my 2nd grader who, like other students, does not have school today or tomorrow or the next day... and Alexandra's comment on how to incorporate science in everyday activities, like cooking, really resonated with me given the circumstances us parents are finding ourselves in today. Thank you for sharing those stories from your upbringing, your parents are aspirational.
Radhika, I really enjoyed your story working with the Colorado hospitals. Particularly, the emphasis on designing systems that work for the people relying on the results. Your comments remind of the book I am reading right now called "Great at Work" by Morten T. Hansen. He says, "Effective redesign requires that we loosen the shackles of familiar and ask why things are the way they are, and whether there's a better way. To make these discoveries, I recommend that you start asking some "stupid" questions...Why do kids have two months summer vacation from school?[...]Once you've gotten into the habit of asking such questions, ask some "what if" questions...What if kids only had one month of summer vacation, and another month of community service?[...]The combination of asking a "stupid" question and crafting some "what-ifs" can help you discover a nifty redesign and lift your performance." You two sound like you are on a similar wavelength! Also, I completely agree with diverse mindsets, including those on a spectrum. A great book I am so thankful to have read as a teenager because it has resonated with me ever since is called, "An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales", the author speaks about the talents of those with "non-traditional" minds. Finally, my favorite quote from a documentary I watched on the way to the United Kingdom's Alteryx Inspire in London(2019): "A mouse does not know what a mouse does not know" highlighting your point that we still have so much to discover, so many possibilities!
And Julie, I completely agree that schools should not sponsor products from companies, but rather stay true to their mission statement to be educators only. How refreshing to hear you say that! Thank you.
Last, but not least, Libby - thank you for sharing your book recommendations! Both reads sounds fascinating and I am adding them to my list. Along with watching the new Alter Everything podcast. Thank you Maddie for all your hard work with those!
Finally, I want to share my daughter's comment during the video after I reinforced to her that girls can do anything boys can do and boys can do anything girls can do.
Zariah: "Mom, I know something girls can do that boys can't."
Me: "What is that?"
Her: "Boys cannot have a baby."
Well, she is right. That is a true statement, girls can do things that boys cannot!