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WiDS 2017 in Edinburgh Brings Local Women in Data Science and Technology Together

The Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference aims to inspire and educate data scientists, regardless of gender, and support women in the field. The WiDS Conference took place on February 3, 2017 at Stanford University, and was also streamed live with people watching around the world. This one-day technical conference provided an opportunity to hear about the latest data science related research in a number of domains, learn how leading-edge companies are leveraging data science for success, and connect with potential mentors, collaborators, and others in the field.

As part of the conference, a series of WiDS satellite events are taking place across the world in February 2017 in collaboration with Stanford University. The Data Lab was proud to host the Edinburgh WiDS event over afternoon tea on 15 February 2017 at The Balmoral Hotel.

Around 50 women from different backgrounds attended the event, including a group of primary school girls from St Nicholas Primary School in Broxburn, who were able to meet and hear from potential future mentors.

We were fortunate to have an excellent speakers line up, including data practitioners and leaders from both private and public sector. First up was Jo Watts, Principal, Customer Analytics at Dufrain Consulting and member of Scotland Women in Technology, who shared her journey in the world of Data. Pippa Gardner, CEO & Co-Founder of UrbanTide followed talking about her experience running a data led company. We loved to hear about the great work happening at Edinburgh City Council from their Digital Innovation Manager, Sally Kerr; and about the journey and role of a Data Engineer from Ali King, Data Engineer at FanDuel. Sarah Davidson, Director General Communities at The Scottish Government closed the session by discussing how data can help public sector delivery.

Overall, it was a great day of networking and sharing. We were very happy and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the WiDS conference, and to make Scotland part of it too. Thank you to the wonderful women that participated, and to all our speakers for sharing their experiences. We are sure they will help inspire the next generation of women on the potential a career in data or technology can bring for their future.

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