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Women in Data by Shannon Cutt, Cornelia Lévy-Bencheton

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Chapter 1. Women in Data: Cutting-Edge Practitioners and Their Views on Critical Skills, Background, and Education

Introduction

Women in data and technology are no longer outliers or anomalies; they are entering the mainstream and excelling where technical skills, advanced education, and no small amount of personal tenacity and brilliance are the minimum requirements. That said, women are still an underrepresented minority in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math, known by the acronym STEM.

To investigate and understand how and why some women do extremely well, we interviewed 15 women in data to learn what got them to their current level of success, exactly what motivated them to get there, and their views about opportunities for women in tech. We were very keen on hearing their recommendations about what needs to get “fixed” to close the tech gender gap for others.

We think you will find the stories shared during these interviews both interesting and inspiring. They reveal insights that will widen the path for other women analysts, engineers, mathematicians, and data scientists. These insights include:

  • An update on the expanding role of the contemporary data scientist
  • New attitudes toward women in data among Millennials
  • Benefits of the data and STEM fields as a career choice for women
  • Much needed and increasingly sought after remedies for closing the gender gap

Wondering what’s new? The gender gap in tech is not news, but here’s what is: it’s shrinking. ...

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