Skip to main content
WiDS Posts | August 28, 2019

WiDS Worldwide Ambassadors Meet at Stanford

On August 14, 2019, 45 WiDS ambassadors from 5 continents and 15 countries met with the Global WiDS team at Stanford University to connect, learn about WiDS and WiDS 2020 plans, and share best practices.

WiDS ambassadors host regional Women in Data Science events, bringing the conference to their cohort, colleagues, and community. During the meetup, ambassadors heard the WiDS goals and vision from WiDS Co-Directors — Professor Margot Gerritsen, Karen Matthys, and Judy Logan. WiDS 2020 plans for WiDS Stanford, Ambassador Program, Datathon, Podcast, and Education Outreach to high school were shared by the Co-Directors, along with Meredith Lee (Datathon) and Shelly Darnutzer (Ambassador Program).

Sharing Best Practices
Participants heard from their colleagues around the world about their events, providing ideas, guidance, and experience with attendees, including:

  • Lama Moussawi from the American University of Beirut (AUB) about how she has planned the largest WiDS event in the world, making it a WiDS hub in the Arab Middle East.
  • Cathy Chute and Lori Ray (Harvard) and Amy Kaczur (MIT) spoke about their collaboration with Microsoft Research on WiDS Cambridge.
  • Areej Al-Wabil and Kholoud Khateeb talked about bringing WiDS to multiple locations across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Lightning talks were given by Rania Ahmed (WiDS Oakland), Mehreen Ali (WiDS Helsinki), Aseel Almesad (WiDS Kuwait City), Sucheta Dhere (WiDS Pune), Deborah Mesquita (WiDS Recife), Michelle Rodriquez (WiDS Lima @ Universidad del Pacifico), Soledad Salas (WiDS Cordoba), Mahadia Tunga (WiDS Dar es Salaam), and Orsolya Vasarhelyi (WiDS Budapest).

Inspiration and Ideas
We shared an amazing evening, and left inspired by the impact that ambassadors are having around the world.

“In going back home I am really inspired and motivated to continue, having met and listened to all these amazing women from all over the world, working hard to reduce the gender gap in technology, at their own and very diverse realities. Each country has its unique context but at the same time, we share this same challenge.” — Soledad Sales, WiDS Cordoba ambassador

Aseel Almesad reported that WiDS Kuwait City changed her and moved her in ways that she never anticipated. Mahadia Tunga shared some of the challenges and opportunity that she faces in Tanzania. And Sucheta Dhere explained how she used design thinking to plan the conference, which included a Lego histogram on-site satisfaction survey.


Join us! Become a WiDS ambassador
If you would like to host a WiDS event in your city, learn more about becoming a WiDS ambassador. Applications are now open for WiDS 2020, which promises to be bigger and better than ever.