How everything started? It was early this year, specifically in March, when I was discussing with Richard Conway how fantastic would be to create a community to help others to start in data science. I had visited some Meetup groups related to Data Science and I knew how lonely I felt sometimes there, so I wanted to create a community where you could feel like a part of something, a place where you can learn, help and collaborate with others, but also with continuity.
Then, I started sharing my ideas with Lucy Bealing. We started thinking about the name of our Meetup group, how our logo would be, what food we would like to provide, … At that time, Elastacloud was only our sponsor and later on, also Microsoft sponsored our events.
After a while, Bianca Furtuna and Darshna Shah came on board. They helped all the time to find speakers, being mentors in the practical sessions, welcoming our users, etc. In this way, I can say that I am very lucky of having a IWDS team (Lucy, Bianca, Darshna and I) that work together to get the best of each session and project for our community group.
(On the left, you can see all of us having a drink after a successful session 3 of IWDS.)
From the beginning of Inspiring Women in Data Science, we always tried to find the best balance between inspirational speakers and practical sessions. In our talks, we usually invite to female data scientists or women involved somehow in Data Science, that can share how they advanced in their careers to become data scientists, give some tips and tricks to save time in your learning path, and also how they usually use machine learning and data science in their daily work. Our goal is to transmit that nothing is impossible, that you will have to work hard and learn interdisciplinary skills, but when you see that other women did it, it also inspires you to continue in your journey into Data Science.
Our users are women from different backgrounds who come to learn more about what you can do with data science and how data science can be applied among a variety of industries in order to get predictions, automate processes, detect anomalies, find patterns, etc. On the other hand, some of our users want to do a career change, so they are looking for getting some answers to questions like: where to start? What do I have to learn? R or Python? What packages for what purposes?
We are happy of our community growth and the enthusiasm of all the women involved!
If you want to join us: https://www.meetup.com/IWDSuk/ or just follow us in Twitter: @IWDSuk or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8613311