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Inspiring, connecting and educating women in data science

Margot Gerritsen explains how the Women in Data Science Conference is turning into a global movement.


Margot Gerritsen at the second annual Women in Data Science Conference. | Photo by Ved Chirayath


In her introductory remarks during the second annual Women in Data Science Conference, Margot Gerritsen, senior associate dean and director of the Stanford Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME), explained just how much the event had grown in a single year.

After the success of the 2016 conference, the organizers sought to spread the message by planning concurrent Women in Data Science events in additional locations. “We thought about a year ago that if we got 25 events around the world, that would be an amazing success,” she said. In fact, it has mushroomed with 80-plus events in over 70 cities and 25 countries around the world. “This has become so incredible and energetic; it’s becoming almost like a movement.”

Gerritsen also marked out the three main themes of the conference: inspiring women pursuing careers in data science, connecting with others at the frontier of the field, and educating about new applications and theoretical developments. “We want more women in the field for all sorts of different reasons,” Gerritsen said, adding that the speakers and lessons of the conference would “encourage women to start in this field and stay in this field and to be confident that they can make great contributions.”

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