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How Women in Data Science Rise to the Top

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In Taoist philosophy, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This saying has certainly held true for four women whose careers have taken them all the way to the top of the field of data science.

One of those women is Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft U.S., who said data science was a destination she never imagined when she started out as a young graduate with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering.

“I was convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “After about 11 seconds in a lab, I realized that probably wasn’t a good fit for me.”

Johnson was a keynote speaker during “2021 Women in Data Science Philadelphia @ Penn,” a virtual week-long conference in February aimed at informing and inspiring female students. Joining her were speakers Barkha Saxena, chief digital officer at Poshmark; Didi Huang, director of data science (business opportunities) at Facebook; and Christine Cox, vice president of data and analytics at IKEA Digital.

About WiDS @ Penn Conference

Women in Data Science (WiDS) @ Penn is an independent virtual event presented by the University of Pennsylvania to coincide with the annual Global WiDS Conference held at Stanford University and an estimated 150+ organizations worldwide. All genders are invited to attend WiDS regional events, which features outstanding women doing outstanding work. This year’s theme for WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn was: This is What a Data Scientist Looks Like.