Highlights from WiDS Regional Events Across Continents

WiDS Ambassadors from Salvador to Bogota to Amman to Bangalore have hosted WiDS regional events, demonstrating much dedication and perseverance during a global pandemic. They share event summaries, highlights, and videos below for you to enjoy.

Attend an upcoming WiDS regional event, happening in person or online:

WiDS Lima @ Data Science Women

The first annual edition of WiDS Lima @ Data Science Women was held on July 25, 2020, virtually with more than 200 attendees from Lima, regions of Peru and other Latin American countries. Eleven speakers presented hours of content related to data science and artificial intelligence, led by Peruvian women based in Peru and abroad.

The topics addressed demonstrated the result of practical applications in agriculture, insurance, banking and other challenges closely aligned with current circumstances such as air quality and its impact on the pandemic using data. Other topics focused on the preparation and tools necessary to compete in datathons, and the importance of data analysis for government strategies in Peru. All the speakers expressed the importance of female participation, the collaboration of technological communities, and the training plans of universities that facilitate the preparation of women in data science regardless of their professional profile.

You may watch their video recording on YouTube.

WiDS Bengaluru

WiDS Bengaluru was organized by Dr. Dinesh Kumar (IIMB), Ms. Harini Thammaiah and Ms. Srujana Kaddevarmuth. Three events were hosted as a part of WiDS Bengaluru 2020: the Pre-Conference Event, Datathon Workshop, and Main Conference.

The WiDS Bengaluru Pre-Conference Event was organized by Ms. Harini Thammaiah at Paypal Campus, Bengaluru on January 30, 2020. This event had an amazing list of female data science speakers who spoke on diversified topics of creating more ethical AI, forecasting solar energy generation using machine learning based ensembles to creating safe, secure, and delightful consumer experiences using ML/AI tools. It was very well received and around 80 data science enthusiasts participated in this event.

The WiDS Datathon Workshopwas organized by Ms. Srujana Kaddevarmuth and the WiMLDS team and it was hosted at Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru on February 1, 2020. This event was a huge success with around 100 data science enthusiasts attending it in-person and numerous teams getting formed and participating in the datathon. We had identified 10 mentors from corporates like Google, IBM, Paypal, Cognizant and certain other academic institutes. These mentors guided the data science enthusiasts to successfully attempt this datathon challenge. The event had 3 amazing speakers who are subject matter experts and Kaggle experts. We got very positive feedback from the audience on this event. You may watch the video summarizing the details of this event.

The main WiDS Bengaluru regional event was hosted by Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru and was led by Dr. Dinesh Kumar and hosted by Ms. Shailaja Grover . This event was hosted virtually on August 8, 2020 with 185 attendees. Despite being virtual we had a day-long conference with 10 highly accomplished female data science leaders talking on varied topics covering healthcare, retail, finance, technology, and regulatory domains.

WiDS Ciudad de México @ SAP

WiDS Ciudad de México was organized by WiDS ambassadors Raquel Macias and Erandi Lopez of SAP Mexico. Over 300 global attendees from Mexico, United States, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Europe joined the event virtually. The event started with welcoming and opening remarks delivered by the WiDS Ambassadors, followed by a panel discussion entitled, “echnology as Enabler for Development”. There were three keynote presentations delivered by Isabel Davara, Maria Salguero, and Angeles Camacho. The WiDS event was described as inspiring, informative and interesting:

“There is no reason for women to trail behind in the digital economy, especially considering the economic and social costs. Technology is a tool to empower women worldwide, and gender equality is key to achieve sustainable development.” — Mariajulia Martinez, Tecnologico de Monterrey University

WiDS Bogota

The third annual WiDS Bogota was hosted by WiDS ambassadors Paula Rodriguez and Karolina Ladino, in association with Quantil | Matemáticas Aplicadas and Universidad del Rosario. The online event attracted more than 800 unique attendees, with over 200 constant users at any time during the live-streaming of the event.

The event featured 11 Colombian speakers, having keynote speakers Valerie Gauthier and María De-Arteaga with the talks Introduction to Post-Quantum Cryptography and Discrimination Risks in Artificial Intelligence respectively. The event also featured talks on three main sessions: Justice and Privacy in AI, ML for Health, and Data Science in Startups.

The talks were recorded, and WiDS Bogota videos can be found here.

WiDS Amman

Under the Patronage of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), the first WiDS Amman was held on Saturday July 11, 2020, in a virtual webinar organized by PSUT. The conference was coordinated by WiDS ambassadors Dr. Nailah Al-Madi and Sewar Khalifeh.

Her Royal Highness stressed the importance of the role of women as a precious resource that must be nurtured and empowered in all fields, specifically for their role in data science. During her keynote speech she said, “diversity is essential in data science research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Indeed, gender diversity is central to our future success.” In her opening remarks, the Princess noted that,

“When given the opportunity, women in our region have proven themselves, again and again, to be innovative and creative, resourceful and driven. Events such as this help to build confidence, to celebrate success, and to devise better strategies to achieve incredible outcomes for women in data science and, ultimately, for society as a whole.”

The conference coordinator, Dr. Nailah Al-Madi, an Associate Professor in the PSUT Department of Computer Science, stated that the conference is a source of inspiration and empowerment for data scientists in Jordan. It also serves to support distinguished women in this field, promotes the sharing of expertise, and encourages the next generation to benefit from that expertise and adopt an entrepreneurial role that drives development.

Participating in the conference were 12 academic speakers from Jordanian universities, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MDEE), telecommunications companies Zain and Umniah, as well as Royal Jordanian and Microsoft, Electronic health solutions, (PWC) PricewaterhouseCoopers. The event drew in an audience of more than 300 people from Jordan and abroad.

WiDS Mumbai

The 3rd annual WiDS Mumbai was scheduled to be held on April 4th, 2020 with 16 speakers. However, as a result of the pandemic, they decided to go online like the other chapters but with

a little change. The event was converted into a Weekly Webinars Youtube Live series, hosting several amazing women from various domains such as Blockchain, Healthcare, Retail, Human Resources, Education, Banking, etc.

After a quick poll on their social media channels, they realised the need for conducting Code-along workshops as a part of this series. So they devoted almost every weekend in July to such sessions, where viewers were educated with hands-on experience on topics such as Covid-19 Data Visualization & Modelling, Natural Language Processing, Social Media Data and Neural Networks. Every session was eagerly welcomed by the viewers and for the first time ever, they reached more than 2,000 people.

They also recorded 5 podcast interview sessions with past speakers published as ‘Data

Science Sagas’ on Spotify. The interviews focus on the speaker’s journey, their motivation to

choose this field and their learnings over the years, inspiring every data scientist.

WiDS Salvador

The first WiDS Salvador regional event took place between July 27 and 31, hosted by WiDS ambassador Júnia Ortiz. The conference featured 10 hours of online content, spread over 5 days for an entire week, divided into lectures, lightning talks, technical hands-on workshops, a round table and a panel discussion. Fifteen speakers from different backgrounds, from academia to industry and entrepreneurship, spoke on topics such as information extraction and natural language processing, data visualization, database systems, supervised and unsupervised machine learning, text mining, data processing, recommendation systems, churn prevention and data-driven culture, in addition to a round table about data science career and a panel about data science industry. Over 1,700 people signed up to attend the event and more than 2,000 people from different parts of Brazil and all over the world watched the videos on YouTube.

You can watch a summary of everything that happened during WiDS Salvador in this highlight video, and watch all WiDS Salvador presentations.

WiDS Bangalore @ Intuit

A global team at Intuit AI hosted WiDS Bangalore @ Intuit (#WiDSBlr2020) for the very first time in India. More than 170 attendees from local leading companies and startups such as Amazon, Swiggy, Grofers, Honeywell, IBM, Deloitte, JDA, Accenture, PayPal, Goldman Sachs, DXC and Wells Fargo participated in the event virtually. Of the attendees, 90% were women,85% were from a data science background, and 15% were mixed of the research and the tech industry. Twelve external speakers including Lavanya Sita Tekumalla, Prof. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Aruna Rajan, Dr. Geetha Manjunath, Arpita Biswas, Uma Sawant, Tanuja Bapat Ganu, Goda Ramkumar, Smita Ojha, Mathangi Sri and Janani Sriram.

“Apart from the really interesting work that I got to witness by all these talented women in their respective fields, the most important thing that I am taking away from this event is hope, more encouragement and confidence of doing better and more innovative work in the future. The hope that I can reach a leadership position where my knowledge and hard work will be valued and appreciated. I am more enthusiastic now to learn more and make more progress with my knowledge for the betterment of our future.” — WiDS Bangalore @ Intuit attendee

You can watch all the events videos here on their YouTube channel.

WiDS Saguenay

WiDS Saguenay was the first edition of WiDS in Québec, Canada. It was organized by the Centre de géomatique du Québec in collaboration with Cégep de Chicoutimi. The event was sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The conference hosted over 80 participants from academia, private industries, and governmental organizations. The conference featured 15 female speakers from a wide range of data science domains, such as game industry, geomatics engineering, industrial optimization, health, and social sciences, as well as few inspirational talks from female entrepreneurs. A relaxing 3-service lunch was served during the conference, and a networking cocktail reception was held in the evening while the participants enjoyed the interactive poster presentations of 10 graduate students. Participants were glad to learn about the global WiDS initiative and amazed by the content of the local conference.

Read more regional event summaries, skim through photos, and watch video recordings shared by #WiDS2020 ambassadors:

March events
April events
May events
June and July events

Thank you, WiDS ambassadors!

Thank you WiDS ambassadors for all your dedication and hard work organizing and hosting WiDS regional events during the WiDS 2020 season. If you would like to bring WiDS to your cohort or community, apply now to become a WiDS ambassador for 2021.

Inspiring and educating data scientists, regardless of gender, featuring outstanding women in the field. widsconference.org

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