Ohio’s first Women in Analytics Conference scheduled for April 13 at OSU - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio

Ohio’s first Women in Analytics Conference
scheduled for April 13 at OSU

The big data and analytics takeover is here, and Ohio’s women refuse to fall through the cracks.

Since the 1980s, women have become increasingly fluent and pursuant in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, especially in Ohio, a state where technology and innovation are constantly encouraged. The conference speaks to the steady increase of women in STEM careers and their thirst for knowledge, growth, and success.

According to PLOS Biology Journal, “The emergent field of data science offers the opportunity to narrow the gender gap in STEM, in which only 13% of the engineering workforce and 25% of the computer and mathematical sciences workforce are women.”

The goal of the conference is to spread awareness about the thriving world of women in data analytics, understanding where women currently thrive within the industry, where they are underrepresented, and what the community can do to support an increase in diversity across the spectrum of analytics.

Patty Morrison, keynote speaker at the conference, thinks that all committed business professionals should educate themselves on data analytics as a way to improve their careers.

“Think of every career as an analytics career,” Morrison said. “Regardless of your focus—marketing, supply chain, finance or accounting, IT, communications, etc.—every path requires you to have an understanding of data and analytics.”

The conference welcomes all who want to expand their knowledge of and actively support women in analytics and the community as a whole while networking with industry leaders.

“We want women in analytics to understand that we should aspire to make discoveries and push the limits in the industry both from a technical and leadership perspective,” Rehgan Avon, founder of the Women in Analytics Conference, said. “Maintaining an engaged and inclusive community is a way we can build on the foundation these industry leaders have established. Encouraging one another to try with the potential to fail is critical for the field to advance.”

The conference features an impressive lineup of speakers from across Ohio:

  • Patty Morrison, Executive Vice President, Customer Support Services & CIO at Cardinal Health (Keynote Speaker)
  • Kathy Koontz, Associate Vice President of Customer Insights & Analytics at Nationwide Insurance
  • Allison Jones-Farmer, Van Andel Professor of Business Analytics & Director of the Center for Analytics and Data Science at Miami University
  • Stan Lucas, Associate Vice President of Customer & Business Insights at Lane Bryant
  • Britney Williams-Ward, Senior Consultant of North American Analytics Center at IBM
  • Jennifer Bleen, Vice President of Senior Operations Analyst, Enterprise Data and Analytics at Huntington National Bank

Allison Jones-Farmer observes first hand the struggles her female students battle as they work to move forward in their careers.

“Every day in the classroom, I still observe the women shying away from the more technical aspects of a data science project, relinquishing the heavy technical lifting to the guys on their team,” Jones-Farmer said. “My best advice is to push yourselves to be the technical lead. Don’t subjugate yourselves to the soft side of analytics. Learn to code. Learn the statistics. Learn visualization. Learn to write.”

As more incoming students join data analytics programs at universities such as Miami U. and The Ohio State University, Ohio is poised for a jump in data analytics professionals—both women and men—who will contribute to the state’s ever-growing business success stories.

“To evolve data science in a way that promotes gender diversity, we must address two challenges: (1) how to increase the number of women acquiring skills and working in data science and (2) how to evolve organizations and professional cultures to better retain and advance women in data science. Everyone can contribute,” says PLOS.

For more information about contributing, register for the conference: www.womeninanalytics.com. All ticket proceeds will be donated to the Big Data and Analytics Association, a student-run organization at OSU.

Conference details

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 5:30-9 p.m.

Where: The Faculty Club at The Ohio State University

Registration: $20

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