The field of Data Science is booming, yet comparatively few women are entering it. Why? What are the obstacles and opportunities facing them if they do? The path to change is challenging, but as a woman who has happily worked in data science for many years, I can say with confidence that it’s possible. Women have made an incredible impact in this industry, and we have the resources to follow in their footsteps.
Historically, women have been very influential in the STEM disciplines of computer science, mathematics, data technology, visualization, and statistics -- as can be seen in Figure 1 (presented in 2014 by a woman, Mamatha Upadhyaya, in Impact of Big Data on Analytics.
In the mid-19th century, the mathematician Ada Lovelace was the first person to write a computer program. In 1860, Florence Nightingale, a statistician and nurs