Women in Big Data Global



Women in Big Data (WIBD) Luncheon at Pycon 2017

Women in Big Data

By Agata Gruza,

June 27, 2017


On Friday May 19, 2017, the Women in Big Data North West chapter sparked off their first meetup at Python Conference (https://us.pycon.org/2017/events/womenbigdatemeetup/).

The event was held in the heart of Oregon, Portland, and was very well received.  The number of participants was overwhelming. Within 15 minutes of opening the doors, the room was packed. Some 82 attendees came mostly from theWiBD meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/Women-in-Big-Data-NorthWest/events/239785488/), and many others found out about event at PyCon. A lot of credit goes to the conference staff for adding more than dozen extra chairs to accommodate everyone.

The kickoff luncheon initiated great dialogs among participants and confirmed there is a need for such events. The growing number of WiBD NW members (currently at 184), as well as positive responses gathered at the WiBD NW meetup page, validate the importance and increasing interest in the realm of Big Data.

Speakers from Intel and Nike shared their knowledge and inspired the next generation of women in STEM:

  • Soumya Guptha Marketing Manager, Software and Solutions Group, Intel Corporation
  • Nidhi Chappell, Sr. Director, Data Center Group, Intel Corporation
  • Gail Cornelius, Sr Director Retail Intelligence, Global DTC, Nike
Soumya Guptha

Soumya began the event with extending a warm welcome to everyone and expressing deep gratitude for their support of the WiBD NW chapter. She shared facts and figures about The Women in Big Data world, including staggering data showing a decline in the number of females in STEM in the past decade (from 37% to 18% drop in women graduated with Computer Science degree, and only 6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women). She described the mission, vision and goals of WiBD (inspire, connect, grow, champion success of women in Big Data, increase womens’ representation in Big Data to at least 25% by 2020). Soumya pointed out how important Big Data is in today’s economy. It’s changing the world around us. Nowadays most of the things we do on a daily basis generate data. Gathering and accurately correlating this data can help with:

  • Extracting brand new valuable insights
  • Making better decisions
  • Working more efficiently
  • Reducing cost and risk
  • Predicting the future

Women in Big Data are here to work at bridging the STEM skill shortage gap and promoting the discussion about the deficit of women in  the Big Data workforce. Soumya finished her talk by encouraging others to join WiBD movement, supporting WiBD–and making a difference.

Nidhi Chappell

Nidhi gave an inspired talk about what each of us can do every day to make the most of our career, and why it is so crucial to act now. As an incentive, she shared statistics about Data Scientist salaries in CA. The numbers were very encouraging. Nidhi provided small steps that, repeated over time, will help us grow and open more career advancement opportunities. Nidhi’s motivational talk emphasized that everything is possible when we:

Lean In…

  • Stay relevant
  • Embrace yourself and the community
  • Speak up
  • Be authentic

Lean On…

  • Step up
  • Network
  • Become an advocate

The key takeaway from Nidhi’s presentation: Realize that “Data Scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st century.”

Gail Cornelius

Gail discussed her journey from Coach Leatherware  in New York to Global Retail Intelligence at Nike. She noted that life is full of changes and unexpected circumstances, and it’s up to each of us to give up or get up. Gail is a wonderful example that work life balance can exist, that finding and following your passion will lead you to your purpose, and that when women stick together and help one another everything is possible. She also pointed out that networking is essential for career success, and that the faster we start, the more we can benefit. She was very optimistic about the future.emphasizing that there is no better place to be right now than the world of Big Data.



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