On October 25th, Correlation One hosted its inaugural Data Science for All: Women's Summit in New York City. The summit featured 75 young women who were given two weeks of free training and paired with experienced mentors at tier-1 employers.
"Women are vastly under-represented in careers in Data Science and changing hiring practices alone will not solve this problem because it's a supply-side issue, said Correlation One Co-Founders & Co-CEOs, Sham Mustafa and Rasheed Sabar. "Correlation One's Data Science for All: Women's Summit is a novel program that provides free data science training and mentorship as well as connections to jobs with industry-leading employers."
Individual mentorship was provided by the Women's Summit's employer sponsors: Citadel, Citadel Securities, Lyft, Point72, EY, MarketAxess, Two Sigma, and Marshall Wace.
The supply-side problem
Women are 46% of the workforce, but hold only 26% of STEM jobs. Many women drop out of STEM careers because they lack support navigating a male-dominated field.
The percentage of graduates with data science and computer science degrees are also heavily skewed male. However, the percentage of graduates in "adjacent" fields, such as statistics, quantitative biology, and economics, is much more balanced. When job descriptions require undergraduate degrees in data or computer science, this results in fewer female applicants.
Addressing the imbalance requires supply-side measures: the raw number of qualified female applicants must be significantly increased. This, in turn, can be accomplished by increasing the number of females with the requisite skills--through practical training for example, for females in the fields of biology and econometrics. It can also be accomplished by increasing the number of applicants among already qualified females--through mentorship and career coaching, for example.
"Data Science and AI are booming but we're on the ground floor. We have an opportunity to fix the diversity issue while it's still early" added Deepali Vyas, senior partner at Korn Ferry and advisor to the Women's Summit.
Mentorship and practical training
At the women's summit, participants spent two weeks completing a free data science training course and working closely with established women mentors across finance, consulting, and technology.
Unlike most academic courses, which focus on theoretical skills, the women's summit trained participants using real-world industry cases and data. The young women also worked in groups to develop a capstone project presentation, analyzing datasets related to urban transit, housing development, or airline travel.
The program culminated in a single-day expo, where participants had an opportunity to present their work, and also hear from employer sponsors about real-world data science applications in industry.
Data Science for All 2020
We have been thrilled by the reception to our inaugural program, and are excited to announce that we will be expanding the women's summit in 2020. In addition to hosting a larger summit next fall in New York City, we will also be hosting programs in San Francisco and London.
To apply to participate in our San Francisco program, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit us correlation-one.com/ds4a!