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Six Tips for Women in Data Science from the Chief Data Officer of Poshmark

Barkha Saxena

When Barkha Saxena, WG’11, came to Wharton’s EMBA program in San Francisco, she was working in sales and strategy at FICO. Having started her career as a hands-on data scientist, she hoped to transition into an executive-level data science role, focusing on technology. Today, she is chief data officer of Poshmark and an advisory board member of Wharton Customer Analytics (WCA). She also was a featured speaker at the Women in Data Science @ Penn Conference, where the theme was “This is what a data scientist looks like.”

Barkha credits Wharton with helping her achieve her career goal. “As a student at Wharton, I talked with Prof. Leonard Lodish about my interests and he suggested that I look at comScore. He even sent an email about me to Magid Abraham, who was comScore’s CEO at that time. The company saw that I was a match for their needs and created a job for me as vice president of data science. Talk about the value of the Wharton network and connections!” she said. “My role involved building out a new machine learning product for the ad industry, and I was excited to start my journey as a senior leader in the tech industry.”

A few years later, she joined a startup as vice president of data science before moving to Poshmark as vice president of data. At the time, Poshmark was a small company and she worked to build the data function from the ground up, starting with building data infrastructure, establishing data management and data tools function to democratize usage of data across the organization, and building out the full data science and analytics function. In 2019, she was named chief data officer of Poshmark, which recently became a public company.

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.