Women in Data Science

‘An amazing, empowering, inspiring event which gave me the chance to learn about the Data Science universe, full of great advice about how to get into and become a success in the field.  I can’t recommend this event highly enough and have got so much from it already!’  Flic Anderson, Professional

Between 10th and 13th November 2020, Equate Scotland in collaboration with The DataLab and Codeclan delivered our first hugely successful Women in Data Science online experiential learning event. Attended by 18 women and rated 100% excellent by those attending, the cohort was made up of 6 students, 5 career changers and 9 professional women from across Scotland including Aberdeen, Kinross, Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh, each with an interest in learning key data science skills to help them upskill or reskill in this field.

Day 1 of the event was delivered by Craig Paterson from The Datalab who covered Driving value from Data & AI, giving participants an introduction to the business world of data.

Day 2 and 3, encompassed a fully interactive, virtual live learning experience led by CodeClan expert instructors Stephanie Boyle and Aileen McDonald who over the 2-days taught the participants the basics of Python and writing code.  The women also experienced working with Jupyter notebooks, using pandas to manipulate and analyse data and making plots with Seaborn.

The final wrap up session on day 4 was delivered by Joanna Glenfield of Equate Scotland and included a number of presenters including Bethany Rogers-Rintoul of MBN Solutions, a recruitment agency who specialise in sourcing talent in data science, data engineering, analytics, IT and technology.  Presentations then followed from inspirational women working in data science covering their own career paths to data science including Regina Berengolts, Head of Data Science at TV Squared, Amber Lawther, M&T Technician – Business Intelligence and Analytics at NHS National Services Scotland and Delphine Rabiller, Data Scientist, Mallzee Insights.  The career changers and professional women in STEM were also offered a free career clinic and CV review by Equate Scotland post event.

77% of attendees stated that attendance at the course increased their confidence in their data skills and abilities.  Elisabetta, Student said ‘I feel a lot more confident about my ability to learn technical skills and use Python for my academic work and future jobs.  I often find myself intimidated by technical talk and doubt my ability to learn any of it.  I would say this event has massively improved my confidence in this regard!’

100% said they now understand more about the types of roles, sectors and pathways where data science is applied.  Kelsey, Professional saidThe Python tutors were brilliant and helped me to understand where to use a bit of code in the real world.  It was great to hear from women with data science careers and their tips to get ahead’. 

100% said they now understand more about what employability skills are required for a data science role.  Jaime, Career Changer said ‘The Women in Data Science event was incredibly insightful, from learning new techniques to understanding what is needed for a career in data.  Having the ability to learn this in a women-only space felt incredibly empowering.’

Participants reported that the top 3 skills developed during the course were technical skills in Python programming (92%), analytical skills (62%) and IT skills and the use of technology (62%).

100% stated they now understand where to find further training/learning opportunities to develop their data skills.  Elisabeth, Professional said ‘I now think that I could definitely learn coding.  Previously I always thought that this would be enormously difficult and might not be for me.  The talks by the career changers were truly inspiring and gave me lots of ideas to apply in my own career’. 

Currently, women make up just 23% of the ICT workforce.  We are currently in the midst of a data revolution and the UK Government has invested £270m, alongside partners, in an ambitious £661m programme that seeks to establish Edinburgh as the Data Capital of Europe.

Scotland is therefore investing significantly in data skills, ensuring that we have a talent pool with right mix of skills required for the data revolution.  Many opportunities are arising for individuals to upskill and reskill in data related skills through the likes of The DataLab and Codeclan.  And as more and more companies become data driven, the demand for data talent will only continue to grow.  This presents a significant opportunity for women to enter and progress their career in data science.


‘I am so glad I applied to participate in this event!  Not only did I learn some technical skills, but I also met loads of great people, increased my knowledge of the data science opportunities in Scotland and ultimately increased my confidence’.  Elisabetta, Student

‘I expected mostly students attending and was very positively surprised to see so many different women from all walks of life.  I feel more confident about applying for jobs in data science.’  Lisa, Student

‘A very positive experience which opened my eyes to the possibilities offered by data science and gave me a deeper understanding of coding and what seemed like another world’!  Caroline, Professional

‘Great Workshop…..and increased my confidence to step into a data science career.’  Zeinab, Career Changer

‘A fantastic experience, honestly could not rate it more.  For a 3-day course there was so much information included it has made me feel really positive about my future.’  Emily, Student