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WiDS News | March 27, 2024

WiDS Ambassador Event Highlights: March

WiDS Trinidad & Tobago

WiDS Trinidad and Tobago hosted a diverse array of 10 successful events, including fireside chats, workshops to support the WiDS 2024 Datathon, and educational sessions, aimed at empowering individuals, especially women and students, in data science and STEM fields. These initiatives focused on data analysis, visualization, statistical models, data storytelling and more.

With over 200 attendees across all events, including a high female representation, participants gained practical skills, knowledge, and inspiration, fostering inclusion, skill development, and empowerment in the field. Learn more about WiDS Trinidad and Tobago.

WiDS Afghanistan

Women in Data Science Afghanistan, alongside Women in Tech Afghanistan, commemorated International Women’s Day on March 8th by hosting the “WiDS and the Power of Data Science” conference, aimed at empowering Afghan women through data science education. The conference featured an enriching session discussing the journey to becoming a data scientist, covering essential skills, the intersection of AI and data science, and career paths in the field. Panelists provided comprehensive insights, addressing participant questions and illuminating opportunities and challenges within data science. The event’s success was amplified by the active participation and enthusiasm of attendees, with five fortunate individuals receiving a 50 USD internet package as a token of appreciation for their dedication to data science education. Overall, the conference celebrated women’s achievements in data science and inspired the next generation to innovate and lead in the field.

WiDS Kansas

The event, held in Manhattan and Baldwin, began with a group viewing of the WID conference, followed by discussions on its relevance to Kansas and local girls, culminating in a workshop session. Attendees, coming from diverse backgrounds, expressed interest in data science, seeking guidance on pursuing it as a minor or obtaining certificates. The presence of women staff members further highlighted the potential of data science to enhance their work. Feedback was collected for planning future events, while the realization of imposter syndrome among nearly all attendees, including the organizer, underscored the importance of addressing such challenges in future engagements.

WiDS Upper Bavaria

The EmpowerHer Conference, spearheaded by Dr. Mursal Dawodi, Ambassador of WiDS Upper Bavaria, represented a significant milestone in the ongoing quest to empower Afghan women through education and technology. Featuring a diverse array of sessions, including keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fireside chats, the conference facilitated insightful dialogues and impactful exchanges. Renowned speakers such as Dr. Akbari, Fatana Lameh, and Dr. Abulfazl offered valuable insights into the challenges and aspirations of Afghan women in higher education, highlighting the importance of national and international support and community empowerment. Dynamic panel discussions explored the transformative influence of technology on women’s education and global solidarity efforts for Afghan women’s education. Fireside chats provided intimate conversations with notable figures like Abeda Danish, Shahira Sadat, and Fahima Mohammadi, inspiring attendees with stories of resilience and career excellence in STEM fields. Overall, with 173 registered participants and excellent evaluations, the conference succeeded in fostering meaningful dialogue, inspiring action, and empowering Afghan women for a brighter future.

WiDS @ Australian Data Science Network

The Australian Data Science Network showcased 25 women at various stages of their data science careers, from early stages to those nearing completion of their Masters/PhDs. A notable highlight of the event was the opportunity to hear each woman share her personal journey, detailing the motivations behind their career choices and the obstacles they’ve overcome along the way. These stories provided powerful insights into the diverse experiences and challenges faced by women in the field of data science.

WiDS Perth

At Women in Data Science (WiDS) Perth 2024, a panel of West Australian-based data science experts, including Megan Born, Dr. Parwinder Kaur, Helen Milner, Professor Nicola Armstrong, and Karishna Pareemanun, shared their inspiring stories and perspectives. Attendees gained valuable insights into the rapidly advancing field of data science, with key takeaways emphasizing the importance of collaboration, listening to raw data, embracing mathematics, and adapting to technological changes. The event, a collaboration between the UWA Data Institute and UWA Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, attracted 85 attendees from various backgrounds, including school students, parents, tertiary students, industry professionals, and academia, showcasing the significance of women’s participation in shaping the future of data science.

WiDS Lima

The WiDS Lima 2024 event provided an inspiring platform for experts in data science to share their experiences, success stories, and insights on ethics and emerging technologies. Participants engaged in discussions on current industry trends and research applications, fostering interactive dialogue with experts. The event highlighted the transformative potential of data science, emphasizing the importance of fostering a data-driven culture, understanding business contexts, and upholding ethical standards. Overall, WiDS Lima 2024 served as a motivational space, bringing together talented women to inspire and empower others in the field of data science.

WiDS Kenya

The WiDS Conference in Kenya, held on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2024, was a significant event championing female empowerment in data science, organized by WiDS KE ambassadors. Under the theme “AI Equity in Healthcare,” the conference united attendees from diverse backgrounds to explore the transformative potential of data science in healthcare. WiDS Kenya 2024 served as a catalyst for action, advocating for global healthcare equity through continued dialogue, collaboration, and the utilization of AI technologies, echoing the voices of pioneering women in the field.

WiDS Lima @ UP

The WiDS Lima 2024 @ UP event, hosted by Universidad del Pacífico in partnership with Women in Data Science (WiDS) Worldwide on March 8th, aimed to inspire and educate data scientists globally. Distinguished experts from various sectors, including Milagros Huanca, Brenda Rojas, Carla Solis, Alejandra Inga, and Ana Sofia Cruz, shared insights into their experiences and challenges in data science. The event featured a panel discussion focusing on promoting female participation in STEM and innovation in data science, with UP graduates Maria Emilia Arias, Carmen Rosa Nepo, Lucerito Malpartida, and Gabriela Yaulli. Testimonials from attendees like Arantxa Gomez highlighted the event’s inspirational impact, motivating them to continue learning and celebrating women’s contributions in data science. Additionally, current undergrad students, including Alessandra Portocarrero, emphasized the event’s significance in recognizing women’s remarkable achievements and providing valuable insights into both technical and soft skills essential for success in the field.

WiDS Charlotte

The recent Charlotte Women in Data Science event was a source of inspiration and pride for attendees, showcasing the brilliance and determination of women in technology and data science. With over 500 participants, the event fostered an atmosphere of eagerness to learn, connect, and empower. Highlights included insights from C-level executives, a compelling session on building reliable AI products by Lis O’Sullivan, and diverse breakout sessions covering technical and career development topics. The event underscored the importance of diversity, inclusion, and support within the industry, leaving attendees motivated to achieve greater heights in data science and technology.

WiDS Budapest

WiDS Budapest, held at the new Gellert Campus of Corvinus University of Budapest, featured talks from 4 senior speakers and a junior speaker, showcasing innovative data science solutions. Topics ranged from improving online clothing shop recommendations to predicting future illnesses based on hospital visit statistics. The half-day event brought together Hungarian specialists and a Viennese researcher to discuss the latest developments and challenges in data science, concluding with a panel discussion on Starting and Growing Data Science Careers and a networking reception sponsored by local tech companies.

WiDS Edinburgh

The day’s program included keynote talks by Kirsty Scanlan, Director of Planning at Heriot-Watt University (HWU), and Malvika Sharan, Senior Researcher at The Alan Turing Institute, UK. A business pitch session led by Lissa Heron from Converge provided aspiring entrepreneurs with valuable tips, followed by insights from Danielle Moran, Enterprise Executive at Heriot-Watt University’s Commercialization, on available resources at HWU. A panel discussion on the “Opportunities and Risks of Generative AI in Education” featured experts from various institutions, concluding with prizes awarded to winners of the business pitch competition and data science trivia. Participants’ active engagement led to positive feedback, with organizers anticipating future success with WiDS Edinburgh events in 2025.

WiDS Sri Lanka

The WIDS Sri Lanka Upskill Workshop held in March centered on the application of AI and machine learning in Business Intelligence (BI). One session, led by Sachini Herath, focused on the telecommunications sector, highlighting challenges such as cost optimization, personalized customer communication, and innovation in products and services, all of which AI can effectively address. Another session, led by Gajithira Puvanendran from Root Codes Artificial Intelligence Division, delved into the broader strategies of leveraging AI for BI, illustrating with a case study on demand forecasting automation. Overall, the workshop provided insights into the practical applications of AI in enhancing BI practices across various industries.