These women are leading the pack in data science — and so can you

These women are leading the pack in data science — and so can you

For The Women Foundation’s fresh graduates show us that a little bit of code goes a long way.

We already know this, but the world really is one big source of data. Everything we do online — from posting, tweeting and gaming to shopping and communicating — generates data. Not only that, but it’s in our daily activities too, as every sector of our society uses data to manage, track and improve their service. So yes, data generation is a wide scope, and when poked and probed, can be something useful. This is where data science comes in — it’s this vast, ambiguous thing that can cross disciplines, producing various types of data analysis. And in a humble part of our city, a group of young women is already kicking ass at it.

The organization responsible for all this female excellence is the FTW (For The Women) Foundation, a Philippine nonprofit offering full scholarships to selected young women who may be at a financial disadvantage, to go through an intensive three-month training program using the most progressive learning resources for tech roles in AI Training and Data Science. They aim to turn our country into the first data capital of the world, with women at the forefront of the industry.

These women come in armed with existing careers, eager to learn AI Training and Data Science. You’ll see engineers, teachers, accountants, statisticians, marketers and more, together in a room to celebrate their data science projects during their batch’s commencement exercises. 

For The Women (FTW) Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers full scholarships to young women for an intensive three-month training program in AI training and data science.

Since data science is primarily about improving and optimizing existing processes, the scope of the scholars’ presentations is wide and diverse. From data generation of mobile gaming applications to sentiment analysis of business data, the topics are informative and interesting. Some opt for a social impact, like a comprehensive Twitter search of the hashtag #BreakFreeFromPlastic, to an in-depth analysis of student loans.

Hancee Villa, former employee engagement associate and TaskUs Game Changer Awardee, chose the research topic on student loans, a matter that is personal to her. She says, “It’s very close to my heart, isa ako sa mga students na hirap makatapos before because of finances. So luckily nakakuha ako scholarships and nakautang ako, and not in a traditional loan. All this time ang tagal ko prinocess sa sarili ko na, what if there was a better solution and I didn’t have to do all this? Sana nakapag-focus ako sa study ko. I really want to be part of something that will drive education forward and make it accessible.”

 

For The Women Foundation’s fresh graduates show how far women can go in the field of data science.

 

Along with these driving forces, the Commencement Exercises also focused on women empowerment, since there is still a significant underrepresentation of women in tech. Ambe Tierro, guest speaker and senior managing director at Accenture, shared her own experience. She narrates, “I remember when I was younger, I would go to these meetings, and I was the only woman. The only Asian woman. And, when you’re underrepresented like that, it can really intimidate you. It can affect your confidence. I would think, ‘Oh no, if I say something stupid they will all remember me because I’m a woman.’ But I decided to turn that challenge on its head and make it an opportunity. Because if I say something brilliant, they will remember, because I’m the only woman.”

FTW’s program not only promotes economic growth, but is also a great opportunity to champion women in science. This small victory will allow more women shine, leading to more getting selected as scholars. As FTW Above and Beyond Award winner Alyssandra del Valle puts it, “I’m excited to see what the future holds for my batchmates because I know that they have it in them not just to change the field of data science, but also to spark meaningful change in the future of our nation.” 

 

For more information on FTW Foundation, visit ftwfoundation.org.

Tags:
#career #education #gender

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