What’s Keeping Women Out Of Data Science?

Francesca Curtis our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 3/11/2021 10:58 AM
Data Science, the extraction of data to provide meaningful knowledge and insight, is experiencing a surge in growth within Data & Analytics. It is a fast-growing specialism, and talent in this area is in demand, with there being a 650 per cent increase in data science jobs since 2012.

Simply put, pretty soon Data Science is going to play a fundamental role in every industry across the globe. Organisations have to adapt and make use of a range of Data Science tools and techniques or they will simply be forced out of business.

LinkedIn recognised in their Emerging Jobs report that the role of a Data Scientist sits in the top three in the US, citing significant advancements in the emphasis on using data for this growth. Comparatively in the UK, this role lands within the top 10 at number seven

Yet, our research tells us that in the UK, 25 per cent of female professionals work within Data Science, with this number dipping to just 20 per cent in the US.

So, how can we support more women to enter the specialism?

Encourage access to opportunities 


Organisations need to continue to hire highly skilled technical talent to keep up with the growth that we are witnessing in the Data Science specialism. Yet, time and time again, working in Data Science can be seen to be an unattractive career proposition – in particular to women.

To counteract this, business leaders need to make the role and rewards of becoming a Data Scientist visible within their organisation. Showcasing the range of projects and campaigns that are available, as well as providing opportunities for women to accelerate their careers and follow a pathway that suits them is critical.

Education of STEM roles from a young age


In order to see more women moving into roles within Data Science, industry leaders from within STEM fields need to take control and lead the way in educating women on the array of opportunities available.

Through supporting, organising or hosting workshops, webinars and conferences, organisations can introduce women at entry-level to what careers in Data Science actually look like. This week for example in the UK, we’re currently in the middle of British Science Week. It is initiatives like these that build upon the education that is needed to promote roles in technical fields.

Building up communities


In the past year, we’ve all come to rely on our connections to provide insight and support during this period of uncertainty and change. This should be a continued focus moving forwards, building communities, networking and sharing knowledge in order to create an informed, educated and engaged workforce that attracts (and retains) female professionals.

Within female-focused networks and groups, organisations can support women in advancing their careers, advocating for themselves and acting as a platform to showcase the opportunities that are available to women looking to move into a role in Data & Analytics.

The consequence of ignoring these actions is a lack of diversity. We know that diverse teams perform better, and so welcoming in and making the Data Science specialism an attractive career consideration for women is critical. As the industry continues to advance and demand for skilled professionals grows, there will be plenty of opportunity for top talent to make their mark.

If you're looking to take the next step in your career or build out a diverse Data & Analytics team, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

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