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Women in Statistics Find Power in Numbers

Posted By Administration, Friday 13 February 2015

15 February 2015 - Taylor & Francis

On May 15-17, 2014 the Women in Statistics Conference was held to acknowledge the strides women are making in the field and discuss ways to combat the challenges of gender inequality that remain for female statisticians. Stephanie C. Hicks discusses this conference in her article “When Women in Statistics Come to Know their Power,” and highlights the conference initiative to “provide mentoring and insight from an entire community of female statisticians in industry, academia, and government.”

The opening speech identified some of the challenges women face in the statistics industry, specifically in academia. She noted that women still receive 5-15% less in salary than men, and are additionally less likely to become tenured professors. While individual women face these challenges every day, the empowering message of the conference was to utilize the strength of the community of women statisticians in order to overcome gender inequality in the workplace. Speakers and panels discussed the impact of mentoring, the value of expanding mentorship and collaborative networks, and differences in leadership styles.

The article provides details on the ways in which the conference sought to help early-career statisticians, specifically through combatting “imposter syndrome” and the importance of social media, which Heck notes is “one of the most undervalued tools” in the statistics community. This article argues that while women consistently struggle with inequality, the community of women statisticians is helping to work towards solutions, encourage young women to get involved, and spread awareness of the problem.

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