The fact that women are underrepresented in technology roles is not a novel observation. Data science roles follow this unfortunate pattern. In the United States, women hold a mere 26% of data jobs. The data science field is booming and the rise of big data is visible almost everywhere. While data science is still new, as a society, we cannot be complacent with women making up just a quarter of the field — we need more women in data science.
Here’s why you should convince your daughters to become data scientists:
- Data science is one of the fastest growing fields. According to LinkedIn’s 2017 Emerging Jobs Report, Data Science and Machine Learning positions are among the top emerging jobs on LinkedIn. Moreover, data scientist roles have grown over 650%since 2012, and only 35,000people in the U.S. have skills for these roles. Increasing the pipeline of women with expertise in data science is imperative to meet the ever-growing demand for data scientists.
- Many decisions in our society are made based on data science. Data scientists build and create algorithms and decisions trees that are then used to make decisions that impact millions of people everyday. If women are not adequately represented in data science, algorithms and decision trees created will not be able to account for the wide range of human experiences in this world. Likewise, it is also crucial to ensure minorities are represented in data science.
- Diversity is good for business. We’ve heard it before: businesses and organizations will benefit if their teams are more diverse. Women and men think differently, and teams will be more success if they have a wide range of opinions and problem solving approaches. Many companies understand that hiring more female data scientists will not only improve their hiring diversity, but also benefit their bottom lines. In March, at the Global Women in Data Science Conference, Walmart announced its mission to hire more female data scientists. It is imperative that both large corporations and small businesses follow Walmart’s lead.
As data science begins to infiltrate more and more industries, proving to be essential for market competitiveness, we are slowly starting to see more women working in data science. This past March, 100,000 women attended the Women in Data Science conference. Similarly, there are many female trailblazers in the data science field whose work is helping to inspire more women to enter this exciting field.
I recently graduated with a Computer Science degree from Duke University, and I am happy to share that in two weeks, I will start my data-related job. The need for more women in data science is clear, and every female we encourage to pursue a career in data science will help make a difference. Thankfully, there are tons of resources available to help your daughters get started. For example, I really liked this article, titled What is Data Science, by Thinkful.