Gone are the days when women were expected to stay inside the house and to care for the children. As the feminist movement spread, it became evident that the resulting consequence would be female empowerment. It is now common to see women in data science, engineering, and even in the financing industry.
JoAnn Morgan. Margaret Hamilton. Mary Jackson. Katherine Johnson. Judy Sullivan. These are the five women who helped make the moon landing possible. Together with being an integral part of the Apollo 11 mission, these five women have also inspired generation upon generation of women, proving to them that they can be part of any field, even those that are dominated by their male counterparts.
Unfortunately, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) reported that women in computing occupations and data science had steadily declined since 1991 when it peaked at 36%.
As the Age of Information descends upon us, the IT and Tech Industry is estimated to double, triple, and even increase tenfold. This phenomenon is why an existing and wide gender gap in this industry is entirely unacceptable.
Thankfully, O’Reilly’s Women in Data report, found that raising awareness on today’s most prominent and successful women in computing and data science could inspire the current generation to enter back into the field.
It is then that we realized that it is vital that women making a name for themselves in the field of data science be given the spotlight to help encourage young women into pursuing jobs in the IT and Tech industry.
Here, I have listed down 7 of the most successful women in the industry.
Cassie Kozyrkov is the Chief Decision Scientist at Google. According to her LinkedIn account, her mission is to democratize or make publicly accessible, Decision Intelligence and safe, reliable Artificial Intelligence. She is famous for her world-class public speaking skills in the data science industry.
She prides herself with having a unique combination of deep technical expertise and an ability to lead organizational change. Through her hard work, Cassie was able to elevate her position from being a regular statistician at Google to being the Chief Decision Scientist, providing guidance on more than 100 projects, designing Google’s Analytics program, personally training over 20, 000 Google employees in statistics, decision-making, and machine learning.
Emily Glassberg Sands
Emily Glassberg Sands is currently the Head of Data Science at Coursera. She graduated the top of her class from Harvard, where she also earned a Ph. D in Economics and got several prominent awards. Her passion lies in using data to understand individual decision-making and societal trends, building products that solve critical inefficiencies in the market.
Currently, Emily leads an end-to-end data team at Coursera, attracting tens of millions of individuals from around the world. Her team of data scientists and engineers fuel data-driven decisions and building data-powered products for the benefit of Coursera.
Fei-Fei Li formerly worked as the Chief Scientist of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Google Cloud before leaving her job and becoming a professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. Considered as one of the most prominent people in the field of technology and data science, Fei-Fei Li’s TEDTalk on Computer Vision has gained quite a lot of traction.
Dr Elena Grewal
Dr Elena Grewal is currently the Head of Data Science at Airbnb. Working for Airbnb for over seven years, she was one of the pioneer employees of the company. Quickly creating a team, she has worked continuously to create a data-informed culture.
According to her LinkedIn account, one of her best achievements is that “After building the data team working on searching, booking, and pricing, I started a new team focused on supply, growing the team from 1 to 10 in six months.”
Vivian Zhang is most known for founding both the NYC Data Science Academy, NYC Open Data Meetup and SupStat Analytics Inc. As the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Data Scientist at the NYC Data Science Academy, she provides interested students with short-term training programs in analytics. She was also featured in Forbes’ list of “9 Women Leading the Pack In Data Analytics.”
Erica Williams, together with Vivian Zhang, was also listed down by Forbes as part of the “9 Women Leading The Pack In Data Analytics.” As a seasoned marketer involved with product portfolio, new product development, strategic planning, advertising, promotions, Profit & Loss management, and qualitative/quantitative analysis, Erica Williams was able to create and execute marketing plans nearing $100 million.
Based on consumer research that she conducted, Erica just launched new household products while currently leading a consumer research team as the Manager of the Consumer Insights & Market Research of Morton Salt.
Animashree Anandkumar is currently a Bren professor at Caltech CMS Department and the Director of Machine Learning Research at NVIDIA. Her multi-faceted research has earned her several awards, honours, and fellowships from affluent organizations.
She spearheaded research in tensor-algebraic methods, non-convex optimization, probabilistic models and deep learning. Until recently, Anima was also a principal scientist at Amazon Web Service, where her team enabled machine learning on the cloud infrastructure.