HerWILL’s Lead for STEM Outreach and Operations, Tanzeem Haque is a Data Engineer by profession. Along with being exceptionally brilliant with data and all things related to data, Tanzeem is also an explorer, writer, poet, and overall fascinating human being. She says HerWILL changed her life, and we say that she is one of the people who gave HerWILL its life. Tanzeem makes the world a data driven insightful place every day.
HerWILL – Women Inspired in Life and Leadership, has recently held a Datathon between tech women of color in the United States and tech women in Bangladesh, in partnership with AI4OPT (AI Institute for Advances in Optimization), SBDH (South Big Data Hub) at Georgia Tech, and BdOSN (Bangladesh Open Source Network). The Datathon was preceded by a series of workshops custom made to give an in-depth overview of Data Science and prepare the contestants for the intense 48-hour competition.
STORY IN NUMBERS
In this unique program, Women from two different corners of the world teamed up, bonded and worked on a challenging dataset to solve a real world problem provided by the AI4OPT researchers.
Around 20 top Data Scientists from six countries gathered to instruct, supervise, and mentor the students for the competition.
The top three winning teams collectively received $5300 in cash prizes and are now being matched with research and internship opportunities to fill the market demand for Data Scientists.
THE PROUD WINNING TEAMS
- Technical Skill Improvement: Events such as HerWILL’s Datathon impove the Data Science skills very fast. With 9 workshops, HerWILL’s event was able to improve more than half of its participants’ Data Science technical skill, where their average score improved from pre-event 3 to post-event 4 on a 1-5 scale.
- Necessity of More Such Events: Participation from Bangladesh outweighed participations from the United States. While it’s true that communication and program promotional pipelines needs improvement especially in the US (reach was made through the faculty), lower participation in the US directly correlate to the lower representation of women of color in tech in general, emphasizing the necessity of our program.
- Building a Community of Future Leaders: Besides Data Science, participants are equally interested in learning about each other’s cultures and way of life and work as well as the technical concepts. Teams participating for the second time reported having a deeper learning and a greater sense of belonging to a community of brilliant and ambitious women. Continued meetings are requested.
TOP PARTICIPATING UNIVERSITIES
- BRAC University
- University of Houston –
- UNC Chapel Hill
- SUNY Old Westbury
- Texas A&M
TOP EIGHT FINALISTS CAME FROM
- Texas A&M University
- University of Washington
- BRAC University
- University of Dhaka
- University of Houston
- University of Chittagong
THE PROGRAM MODEL
HerWIll’s Datathon 2022 is made dynamic with the objective of meeting the evolving needs of our industry and academic partners. Our model includes:
- Nine 2-hour online workshops with live instuctors in group settings.
- Instructors are experts who provide real-life examples to bring content relevance and thus make Data Science less intimidating.
- 100% of the program was run virtually crossing geographic boundaries and time zone issues.
- Ten Data Scientists supervised the participants during the competitions from five different time zones.
- Custom-built project-based workshops were held to give an overview of Data Science. The courses went from basic to intermediate levels in depth subject areas to ensure success for all contestants.
DATATHON DATASET CAME FROM AI4OPT TO:
- Predict hourly taxi trip requests by location to identify request patterns
- Build a prediction model to anticipate trip request surges and plan for better taxi deployment strategies
THE GLOBAL LEADERS
HerWILL gathered the Global Experts in Data Science to educate, empower, and elevate a talented group women to create the future global leaders of Data Scientists.
WORKSHOPS LED BY THE HERWILL TEAM
- Motivation + Why │ Tech Support & Setup
- Introduction into Data & Databases
- Design Thinking by Google
- Statistics/Descriptive Analysis (1)
- Statistics/Descriptive Analysis (2)
- Overview of Data Science Methods
- Machine Learning (1)
- Machine Learning (2)
- Evaluation & Validation
HERWILL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW
HerWILL has developed a program that brings together project based hands-on exercises delivered by experts in various fields of Data Science, industry leaders, and academic researchers to launch and grow careers in Data Science and AI. The multi-year, multi-faceted program built a community of Data enthusiasts that will be groomed to be future leaders and matched with hard-to-reach opportunities.
HerWILL and AI4OPT have entered a five-year visionary partnership to bring higher paying career and entrepreneurial opportunities for historically underrepresented communities, including the underserved global women, youth, and other diverse underemployed individuals. HerWILL’s Bangladesh partner BdOSN has played a huge role in engaging the students in this successufl competion.
WHAT THE WINNING TEAMS HAD TO SAY
WHY DATA SCIENCE
Women represent only 10% of the tech workforce. On the flip side, Data Science jobs are in the top five highest paying opportunities with the greatest demands for talents. Our goal is to bridge this gap in high demand and low supply of skilled talents through Data Science education, benefiting women with better economic opportunities and organizations with better talents. HerWILL’s program will help talented women get recognized, trained, and certified to play a bigger role in the global tech future.
HerWILL Datathon 2022 – THE PILOT
This was a Pilot program run in the United States. HerWILL wanted to see how the disadvantaged women of color in the United States can engage in learning Data Science and participate in a competition to solve real-world problem. When placed with tech women in Bangladesh, the outcome was extraordinary that paved the path for building the Future of Work of diversity, equity, and inclusion at an international level.
Sessions from Datathon 2022
HerWILL, a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, sponsors activities and coordinates community efforts in any portion of the globe to increase STEM-career opportunities for populations disadvantaged by structural gender or racial injustices, therefore contribute in achieving UN SDG5 (Gender Equality) by 2030.
With Gratitude to:
Datathons, Hackathons and Job Opportunities
Power of Data and Women’s Potential – Young Bangladeshi Women Compete to Conquer the Data world
Bangladesh has recently witnessed a historic breakthrough in women’s empowerment through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) with its very first, one-of-a-kind nationwide all-women Datathon from 26th-28th January 2021 led by HerWILL – Women Inspired in Life and Leadership. It was a part of The Ada Lovelace Celebration 2021 organized by BdOSN. The Datathon was prefaced with Data Science workshops to teach the fundamentals of Data Science to help contestants succeed. 177 technology students from 21 districts and 27 Technical Universities of Bangladesh had participated in the workshops and the Datathon.
How many of us know what a Datathon is? Most are familiar with hackathons where you compete to show the mastery of computer programming to either solve a problem or build something new. Datathon, on the other hand, uses a pre-existing dataset, often collected from a researcher working on a particular subject matter. Datathons are usually 24-72 hour long intense competitions requiring the expertise of different statistical methods to data modeling and machine learning with data science-related programming languages like R or Python.
Can you imagine how cool this is for any young girl passionate about pursuing STEM? In the digital world we now live in, the importance of Data Science applications has been well established. We live and breathe data, and generate them infinitely on a daily basis without even thinking about it. 95% of the world’s problems from all aspects will be solved with better data insight. There will be a day when the theories of Data Science in simple terms will be taught starting in elementary schools. But that day is not yet in sight in the near future.
HerWILL wanted to speed up the process with organizing the Datathon as one of its objectives to invite more women into STEM. Altogether 16 renowned academic and industry experts from all over the world dedicated countless hours to mentor, supervise, and judge the contestants to learn and do their best. Global volunteers around the clock worked to help out with every little detail to be perfected. It was one of the most well-orchestrated virtual events Bangladesh has seen.
We were thrilled beyond words when we had the renowned Computational Biologist Professor Dr. Burkhard Rost, Professor at Columbia University NY and Head of the Department for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Technical University Munich to give a talk on “Artificial Intelligence Captures Language of Life Written in Proteins” at the final segment of the Conference.
HerWILL’s Operational Lead Tanzeem Haque worked her magic from ideation to the flawless execution of this event, as we watched in awe working in the background to support her. Her leadership is also a testament to what a singular person can show when empowered by her leaders and supported by the team.
To echo Queen B, “who run the world? GIRLS.” This is true for all the winners here who have the potential to be the queens in the world of STEM. Reflecting on her experience, Tanzeem Haque, shared, “I am honored and blown away by the brilliance of the teams and for the opportunity to mentor them. The girls have every right and reason to be proud of themselves”. Now what exactly is HerWILL and what do we do here? In a nutshell, HerWILL – Women Inspired in Life and Leadership, is a US-based women’s empowerment social enterprise with the goal of achieving true gender equality by 2030 (UN SDG 5) through education, discussions, advocacy, and innovative technology. We walk the talk when we say that we value gender equality, women’s empowerment, cooperation, and collaborative success. We envision to create a world of equal opportunities where women have the freedom to reach their true potentials at every stage of life and career. With its multi-fold initiatives, HerWILL is working relentlessly to foster cross-cultural knowledge sharing and partnerships to build a one-stop-shop of resources to make women successful.
“We did a little in teaching Bangladeshi women about unlocking the secret of the universe with Data. But these young women taught us a whole lot about the power of passion, persuasion, and performance with limited resources and endless challenges”, said Farhana Hasan, Founder and CEO of HerWILL.