8,748.75-43.45
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Macho culture, coding contests & hackathons: Why women are being put off by Data Science roles

Women hold less than a quarter of jobs in data science.

Reuters|
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2020, 05.47 PM IST
0Comments
iStock
As technology transforms the world, data scientists have become among the most in-demand workers.
As technology transforms the world, data scientists have become among the most in-demand workers.
LONDON: Macho work cultures are driving away young women from data science jobs, said analysts on Thursday, warning a failure to diversify the male-dominated sector could result in biased technology that discriminates against women.

Women hold less than a quarter of jobs in data science - where they use tech to analyse trends - and female students are put off by combative recruiting events like coding contests and hackathons, found consulting firm Boston Consulting Group.

"We need a woman's perspective to ensure what we build for our society represents our society," said Andrea Gallego, a partner at BCG GAMMA, the group's data arm, who added that the problem extended into other fields.

"If we start building models with biased teams, we are going to run into a number of longer term effects including ethics issues and models propagating a bias we're trying to stop."

The report comes amid concerns that the male-dominated tech sector is shoring up gender pay gaps and can result in tech which has in-built discrimination against women.

As technology transforms the world, data scientists have become among the most in-demand workers, according to reports by the career networking site LinkedIn published last month, which found it was the third fastest-growing job in the United States.

But the sector is failing to attract a wider pipeline of female talent in entry level jobs, found the report, based on surveys of more than 9,000 students and recent graduates with data-related degrees in about a dozen countries.

iStock
The report comes amid concerns that the male-dominated tech sector is shoring up gender pay gaps.
The report comes amid concerns that the male-dominated tech sector is shoring up gender pay gaps.


Young women were significantly more likely than men to see data science as uncomfortably competitive, said researchers.

They were also less likely to feel well-informed about career opportunities in data science, though countries with a higher proportion of women in tech did better at reaching women at the start of their careers.

The report called on companies to deal with the sector's "image problem" among women, including by building more inclusive and collaborative cultures.

Allyson Zimmerman of non-profit group Catalyst, which works to make workplaces more inclusive to women, said the data reflected a macho "bro-grammer" culture in many tech firms.

"Many workplaces have been designed by men for men," said Zimmerman, who heads the firm's operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, adding that firms should be concerned about a lack of female staffers.

"The number one way you can compete is through your talent. If you don't have diverse talent throughout the ranks you are missing out on innovation, better teams, better decisions and better outcomes," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. (Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change.

How Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams & Other Women Across The World Fared In Space

of 7
Next
Prev
Play Slideshow

Women For The Win?

26 Oct, 2019
Last week saw the first all-women team doing a spacewalk, but how have other women fared at the final frontier?
Next

Also Read

Great Learning launches Data Science Fellows programme

Infosys writes off its investment in US company Waterline Data Science

MoneyTap appoints Barindra Dutta as Director of Data Sciences

Data science roles to see over one lakh job openings this year

11.5 mn job openings by 2026, sky-high salaries: Why data science is booming

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Popular Categories


Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service