Women in Data invites participation in building a more diverse data community - Generocity Philly

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Aug. 6, 2019 7:53 am

Women in Data invites participation in building a more diverse data community

In her guest post, Women in Data's Jenna Bellassai says the six-month old Philadelphia chapter has more than 400 members, and has hosted several events focused on soft skills that are crucial for professionals.

Panelists from Women in Data's "Lead by Learning" event discussed how companies are working on increasing diversity and inclusion.

(Courtesy photo)

This is a guest post by Jenna Bellassai, media coordinator for the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Data.
We are the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Data, and we are working to support the local data community and increase diversity in data careers.

Women in Data Philadelphia chapter event.

As a local chapter of the national nonprofit of the same name, we host quarterly symposiums, regular workshops, and networking events all focused on promoting awareness, education, and opportunity in the data industry.

Back in February of this year, Rajvi Mehta, our chapter lead and an advanced data analyst at Vanguard, noticed a gap between what she had learned in graduate school and what the data industry was looking for in qualified candidates. She started the local Women in Data chapter seeking to help others close that gap and foster inclusion for people of color and those of marginalized genders in the industry.

Since February, the Philadelphia chapter has been busy. We kicked off with an inaugural networking happy hour and hosted our first official symposium at Wharton in April. Titled “The Future of Data Analytics,” The goal of this event was to understand today’s job market in the data world and educate our attendees on different future opportunities.

Next up was our event in July, “Lead by Learning.” We provided workshops in Python, RStudio, and Tableau where our attendees received hands-on training. As we plan our next event, we are mindful of the gaps in our community while we understand the global requirement of a more diverse talent pool.

What is unique to our chapter is, in between our quarterly symposiums, we offer workshops on various soft skills that are crucial in today’s professional world. In the past, we have offered workshops on resume writing, interview preparation, and building a strong LinkedIn profile. In the future, we are planning to offer Toastmasters workshops amongst other skillsets.

Our leadership team comes with immense expertise in fundraising, community building, and media relations. Our team comes from various walks of life, with the deep understanding of an immediate need to address the diversity gap within our community. We are working to build a community that shows diversity in gender, race, and talent.

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After six months, the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Data has over four hundred members. We are thrilled at the enthusiasm we have seen from the data community toward learning and growing together. As we plan our upcoming events, including a fall symposium, we are excited to improve on the work we have done so far to foster professional growth and inclusion in data in Philadelphia.

You can become a member of this organization by joining our meetup group. If you are interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or supporting our community please reach out at: philadelphiachapter@widusa.com.

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