Is it dominated by Asian males who graduated from Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, CMU, MIT, and working in the Bay Area, London, Chicago or New York? With a few white, older males in executive roles?
Is it difficult to find a job unless you belong to this elite club?
Speaking as a woman in data science who worked in a very large statistical consulting group, the number of women and men in that group of more than 100 was roughly equal. Performance and merit were the only way we were judged -- how many clients, how much revenue and profit did we generate & how happy were those clients. The women in the group were equally likely (if not more so) to be promoted, and to attain the highest level short of leading the group (senior vice president). We had both male and female leaders during my 15 years there, both genders leading us successfully. The Brotherhood of Actuaries was different when I worked in Insurance, but when it comes to analytic science for marketing applications, my experiences have been nothing but positive.
My advice to ANYONE in the profession is:
1. Quantify your impact on the business - I created status reports where each project was tracked, start dates, end dates, revenue, profit -- I could show how much I was driving the business and the sheer volume of projects my group was completing.
2. Worry about being the BEST analyst you can possibly be -- understand your strengths and weaknesses and don't worry about other people and how fast or slow they are progressing. The only person you should pay attention to is yourself WRT progress. If you aren't progressing, it could be because you are not addressing your weaknesses.
3. Results and how effectively we get to those results are the only thing that matter. If you hear a story from a coworker about how unfairly they are being treated, consider that they might not be telling you about the 25 mistakes they made on their last project.
4. We are not at work to be friends with one another & whether we like one another or not, it's our job to work effectively with one another. Stop thinking about liking one another, and think simply about how can we interact efficiently to drive projects forward. If we're all on the same side, we get farther than if we create issues within a group.
5. No one in the world will ever admit that they are wrong. If you browbeat others with your opinions in an effort to get them to admit you are right, you will only look like a major league jerk. Focus on getting to a solution where everybody wins instead.