Women in Data UKTM 2018 – great speakers, venue and partners. Record numbers.

We were delighted to have 1000 data professionals at the 2018 Women in Data UK landmark event. We extended the event format, with speakers, development sessions and all-day exhibits to inspire the WiD UK community. Workshops were fully booked within 30 minutes of being made available!

We thank all our incredible partners whose support enables us to make this event free for attendees. Each partner actively promotes the importance of gender diversity, which they made clear in their presentations.


WATCH: Overview video of Women in Data UK 2018, the largest UK data event of its kind.


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Our Partners and Women in Data in the news

Bias in, diversity out – How AI can entrench bias – and what should you do?

Published: 21.08.2019
By Lydia Chong If you are attending the HouseMark – Housing Data and Analytics Summit, this is one presentation you can’t afford to miss. Payal Jain (MD JCURV & Chair of Women in Data UK) and Roisin McCarthy (Co-Founder WiD UK, Datatech Analytics) will be stepping up to the podium to deliver important insights on bias and how to combat it. Firstly, imagine yourself at work, surrounded by your colleagues. If you are actually at work, look around you at those in your immediate vicinity. Now if you noticed that everyone is roughly the same shade of beige, and or gender, ask yourself why that is. For those of you who are surrounded by diversity, your work place is exceptional… also ask yourself: how come? In the presentation, Payal will explain how historical data can influence the recruitment process and lead to selection bias. When you have AI, the bias can be even more pronounced, not because algorithms are intentionally evil, but because they lack awareness required to identify their own biases. AI are often programmed to learn from historical data. Computer science has a concept known as GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out). When you input nonsensical arguments, nonsensical results come out. In the case of AI: biased historical data goes in, diversity goes out… the window. To use an abstract example, if your organisation historically hires hares in accounting, that information informs your recruitment AI algorithm. The next time you are hiring an accountant, even when there is a tortoise with a more reliable track record, the AI will select the hare. In the real world, these biases affect every aspect of our lives from the amount banks will lend us, to our position in society. There will always be people who argue that promoting diversity is an exercise in futility. These arguments only serve to maintain the status quo without considering the economic consequences. In a modern, highly competitive economy, money speaks. The bottom line is that businesses with a diverse workforce make more profit. What is the cost of poor hiring practices? How much revenue uplift can be expected from diversifying your workforce? What can you do to tackle biases and promote more diversity? These questions, and more, will be answered at the HouseMark Summit. Register your interests today. https://www.housemark.co.uk/new-events/all-events/seminars/housing-data-and-analytics-summit-2019  

Women in Data UK Meet-up 12th September – dunnhumby

Published: 07.08.2019
12th September – dunnhumby Women in Data UK and dunnhumby are pleased to invite you to WiD UK’s first North West meet-up. A panel session with specialists from dunnhumby, HSBC and We Are Discounts will explore flexible and co-location working. Sessions and Topics Join us for a panel discussion on the theme of flexible and co-location working. Looking at what this means for development across multiple locations. Hosted by Luce Carter, Software Developer at dunnhumby Panellists: Blake Ryan, Global Head of Architecture at dunnhumby Alex Meakin, Engineering Director at dunnhumby Sarah Schlobohm, Senior Analytics Manager at HSBC Lindsay Pellow, Head of Member Data & Insight at The Co-op Location and times When: 17.30 – 20.30 on Thursday, 12 September 2019 Where: City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, 19th & 23rd Floor, Manchester, M1 4BT Who should attend:  Intermediate-level Data Scientists and Analysts

Women in Data UK Meet-up 19th September – BT

Published: 07.08.2019
19th September – BT Women in Data UK and BT are delighted to invite you to this meet-up, featuring a stellar line-up of BT employees. Don’t miss out on our last meet-up of the season! Sessions and Topics Join us for a panel discussion on the theme of flexible and co-location working. Looking at what this means for development across multiple locations. Claire Ellison, Senior Reporting and Analytics Manager – How I built my career in data Leana Kielkowicz, Head of Decisioning – Data and customer interaction Rowena Phillips, Senior HR Business Partner – Working in a data environment in a non-data role Richard Tate, Director of Data and Decisioning – The importance of diversity in data when representing the customer Panel session, Hosted by Richard Tate,Director of Data and Decisioning – Working in Data @ BT Location and times When: 17.30 – 20.30 on Thursday, 19 September 2019 Where: BT Group plc, BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ Who should attend? All levels of Data Scientist and Analyst

3 surprising insights from WiD UK that will change your life (maybe)

Published: 06.08.2019
Written by Lydia Chong, Assistant at Women in Data UK. I am not one to shill for major corporations. So it came as a surprise to me, when at the last Women in Data UK Meet-up, I was on the verge of tears watching a short video, produced by Sainsbury’s, about the importance of acceptance and diversity. I fully went in with the countenance of a jaded proletariat and my sceptical ears were on alert for insidious propaganda. Despite that, I found myself utterly moved, maybe a little confused. Not just by the amazing line up of speakers and panellists but by the topics and issues, and the sincerity of their messages. Oh yes, did I mention they were all high calibre women? So…dissonance aside, I learnt a lot that evening and I decided to condense them into a click-baity listicle that hopefully you will read because 1. You are not immune to the inherent appeal of lists and irony, and 2. I had to squeeze a meta joke in there somewhere. So without further ado, 3 lessons to take away from that Meet-up that will change your life. 1. Silos are for grain, not people Ok, confession time. I’m a terrible blogger. I say this because I was trained as an engineer and when I was a sweet summer child embarking on my engineering degree, I couldn’t understand why people used sentences instead of dot points and paragraphs instead of…well… graphs. So when I was told that my job at WiD UK was to blog, I struggled. Luckily Vily Rapti from Sainsbury’s was the first to present after Helen Hunter’s riveting introduction and she prompted me to think about how we could all do with breaking out of our silos once in a while. What is a silo? It is a massive cylinder used to store grain. As a verb, we ‘silo’ people with similar responsibilities and expertise into their own little cohort for very good reasons I’m sure, but in massive companies it has the effect of isolating them from their context within the organisation. Sometimes, competition is even encouraged between the silos: e.g. which department can out-do the other in finishing more projects or kicking more goals. While this can improve outcomes, it can also result in inefficiencies and sub-optimal solutions when teams end up duplicating work, or worse, producing sub-optimal outcomes for the rest of the organisation. This makes me think about how we create our own silos. For instance, if we have been taught to do one thing for close to a decade, we tend to approach all problems through that mindset. I feel very uncomfortable when asked to resolve issues without using the laws of physics or a prescriptive standard. A problem such as, how do I write a blog? You’re probably thinking that I’m doing alright, but trust me, I couldn’t possibly do this without breaking out of my silo and consulting the works of Herman Melville, Roxane Gay and George Monbiot, to

“Didn’t you know I was shy?!” – How a WiD overcame her biggest fear

Published: 29.07.2019
When I started secondary school, I was so shy that my teachers expressed concern about the fact that they could not hear me answering questions, even though I was seated in the front row. Fourteen years later, I moved to London, bringing my shyness and introversion with me. Alone and far from home, I navigated this amazingly crazy city that has so much to offer. But there I was, hiding behind a screen, limiting myself to an unsatisfying job because I was afraid to speak up for myself and could not figure out what direction to take to my career. That’s when it hit me! How could I know where I wanted to be if I had no visibility on what was available to me? Wanting to discover how data analytics was used in various industries, almost five years ago, I signed up to attend the first ever Women in Data UK event. I was in for a big surprise. Not only did WiD satisfy my curiosity about what was going on out there in industry, it also gave me access to a network of inspiring women who happily share their experience, success stories, failures and do not shy away from giving tips and advice. Thanks to WiD, I’ve had the opportunity to get coached by very senior women such as Helen Hunter and Gabrielle De Wardener, the latter whom after five years, I still meet regularly for breakfast. Today, WID is a source of inspiration for me. I have started Data Ladies, a meet-up where women working in data analytics and data science can get together in a casual environment, share knowledge and tips and talk about things that matter to them. The very friendly atmosphere of WiD events make it easy to go there alone and meet interesting women. Moreover, they push me to get out of my comfort zone, which comes in very handy in my day to day job.

Women in Data UK Meet-up 18th July – Sainsbury’s group

Published: 26.06.2019
18th July – Sainsbury’s Group Delve into the world of retail analytics at Women in Data UK and Sainsbury’s Group’s meet-up. We’re excited to showcase the best of Sainsbury’s talent as they offer the chance to explore how they operate and give their top tips. Sessions and Topics Helen Hunter, Group Chief Data Officer – Welcome Villy Rapti, Insights Analyst – Don’t store granola in silos Emilie Lhomme, Data Scientist – Decisions, Decisions, Decisions! How We’re Automating complex decisions with Machine Learning and Maths Chris Bernans, Head of Technology for Data & Data Engineering & Ellen Pattison, Data Product Manager – Grand (Data Engineering) Designs: tips for packing, moving and settling into your new (ware)house Laurie Rosten, Data Analyst – Space – the final frontier Lizzie Harris, Senior Customer Analytics Manager – You do you Q&A – Questions and answers with: Helen Hunter, Group Chief Data Officer, Lizzie Harris, Senior Customer Analytics Manager, Jo Zhou, Product Manager Enda Ridge, Chief Data Scientist, Chris Bernans, Head of Technology for Data & Data Engineering & Chaminga Chandratillake, Chief Data Officer When: 17.30 – 20.30 on Thursday, 18 July 2019 Where: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT Who should attend? Data practitioners of all levels

Announcing WiD UK Partner Meet-ups 2019

2019 sees the start of an exciting Meet-up initiative hosted by Women in Data UK partners. Partner Meet-ups for 100 delegates give our community the chance to hear about data trends and, importantly, more opportunity to network.


Women in Data UKTM 2018. It’s your time! Changing the data landscape.

The number of delegates at the Women in Data UK annual event has doubled year on year to 1000 in 2018. We have enjoyed dozens of speakers of the highest calibre and seen the WiD UK community grow to 20,000. 12 of our WiD UK colleagues and participants were recognised in the DataIQ 2018 Big 100. Our Chair, Payal Jain, was No1 Data Titan in 2016 and in 2018 is on the CW long-list for UK influential women in tech. In partnership with Edwina Dunn and The Female Lead, we announced the second Twenty in Data and Technology to act as role models, following the huge success of the inaugural Twenty. Our growth has led to leading brands joining us as partners, to advance data and diversity initiatives in their own organisations, and to encourage women in the data sector at every stage of their careers from graduate to boardroom.

WiD UK 2018 featured some of the most influential women in the data sector, as speakers and on panels, which included a public sector panel and a panel hosted by our Platinum partner, Experian, on the critical matter of Data Trust. We were also delighted to have Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, open the event.

WiD UK 2018 was a busy, varied and positive day … indeed, another a landmark event.

What happened at WiD UK 2018?

Helen Hunter urges attendees to ‘have courage’
Sainsbury’s CDO gave a powerful, open and honest presentation about her career challenges, agile goals and the confidence gap that faces females in STEM.

Data Science is hot, which raises issues of trust
Experian hosted a panel that explored people’s attitudes to privacy and trust, and organisatons’ responsibilities to be ethical and transparent. Lloyds Banking Group provided insight into how Data Science can be applied, monitored and adapted.

An event that perfectly blends inspiration and practical guidance
Amanda Parker invited attendees to tap into their early-life ambitions; Kathryn Parsons mapped gender ratios in STEM and announced new data academies; while Liz Truss invited the WiD community to use their combined voice for positive action.

Network, network, network!
WiD UK events are characterised by their openness and intimacy. The 2018 event gave attendees full access to partner representatives and speakers throughout the day. Attendees also had time to get to know each other in workshops and during event breaks. These networking opportunities are at the core of WiD UK’s ability to facilitate peer relationships that provide immense ongoing support for female data practitioners.


Women in Data UK
is proud to be working in partnership
with Edwina Dunn and The Female Lead