Addressing the gender gap in analytics

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using SAS University Edition, the Jupyter Notebook, and e-LearningThough I'm more of a marketer than a technologist, I do work at a technology company, which means I'm acutely aware of the well-documented shortage of analytical professionals. But there's another shortage in the field that doesn't get nearly the attention: the dearth of women in analytics.

During her Analytics Experience 2017 keynote address, Reshma Saujani highlighted the issue, citing the fact that today only 18% of computer science graduates are women. It's a trend that's only getting worse. By 2020, there will be a projected 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields. U.S. graduates will fill only 29% of those jobs, with women on track to fill just 3%. Saujani's organization, Girls Who Code, is working to change that.

Girls who code

Through a number of efforts, like their after-school club program or 7-week summer immersion program, Girls Who Code has done its part to address the gender gap in technology. Since founding the organization in 2012, Saujani reports teaching more than 40,000 school-age girls how to code and exposing them to possible careers in technology. Recently, Saujani launched the Girls Who Code books series introducing girls to technology and showing them how they can help change the world through coding. But Saujani insists there is much more work to be done. She concluded her talk by encouraging the Analytics Experience audience to look for opportunities to address the gender gap in technology in their own circles.

Check out Saujani's presentation on-demand and learn more about her mission and their awesome organization.

The SAS and Capella Women in Analytics Scholarship Program

Thankfully Saujani is not alone. In 2016 I wrote about a partnership Capella University and SAS developed to help address this very issue. The Capella Women in Analytics Scholarship program was designed to encourage women to pursue careers in the growing field of analytics. That post announced the program's inaugural recipients. At Analytics Experience 2017, Capella announced the partnership's 2nd annual scholarship winners.

The awards provide four winners with full scholarships to either Capella’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Data Analytics or its Master of Science in Analytics programs. SAS supplements the awards with mentoring and networking opportunities, including free attendance to the Analytics Experience conference  and an invitation to work with analytical professionals from SAS at world headquarters Cary, NC. We also provide networking opportunities with members of SAS' Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN), employees at SAS who foster female leadership and professional development and reach into communities to encourage women to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 awards: Lawanda Edwards and Natalie McCants, who were awarded Bachelor of Science scholarships, and Danna Keller and Jahna Lindquist, who were Master of Science winners. Read more about these incredible women and how they're making a difference in the field of analytics.

Kudos to organizations like Girls Who Code, SAS and Capella for helping address the gender gap in technology.

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About Author

Larry LaRusso

Principal Communications Specialist at SAS

Larry LaRusso is the editor of the SAS Tech Report and SAS Learning Report newsletters and the SAS Users, Learning Post and Analytics U blogs. He has worked at SAS since 2000 in marketing, communications, customer experience and management roles for both the Education Division and External Communications. You can follow him on Twitter @lalaru102.

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