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A conference dedicated to increasing diversity in data science is coming to CHOP

A Vanguard data scientist brought the national Women in Data meetup to Philly and is now running meetups and conferences to get more women into the field.

One of Women in Data's early Philly meetups. (Courtesy photo)

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will host a new conference this month called Lead by Learning, which is aimed at increasing diversity across the field of data science.

It will be the second conference organized by the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Data, a national nonprofit dedicated to getting more inclusive groups of women interested in data careers.

Vanguard Data Scientist Rajvi Mehta launched the Philly chapter in February after feeling like there was a gap between what she’d learned in school and what employers were looking for.

“This feeling happens to people all the time, and as a woman of color, I realized that early on I needed to do something extra from what my school was telling me to do to get a job,” Mehta told Philly

She sought out organizations that would offer those skills, and found Women in Data, which has chapters in 10 cities across the U.S. and about 3,000 members.

The organization has since held mini-workshops focused on networking and soft skills such as interview prep, and in April, the Philly chapter held its first conference called the Future of Data Analytics Symposium at Wharton Business School, which was attended by about 100 people.

On July 13, Lead by Learning will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at CHOP and will have sessions on Python, Tableau and data visualization. A group of high schoolers will also present their robot created for Prototype-G, a tech robotics competition.

Lucia Wang, an analyst at Vanguard, will moderate a panel called “How can organizations help to improve diversity?” with panelists Sarah Toms, executive director at WhartonInteractive; Mitch Stewart, cofounder of Guru; Ashley Turner, founder of Philly Tech Sistas; and Texanna Reeves, a diversity and inclusion thought leader.

“We wanted to make sure that we’re providing content that’s helpful for the attendees and that it’s stuff that they can actually use,” Mehta said.

Lead by Learning will take place at the Colket Translational Research Building at Wharton. Tickets are $15 and include breakfast and lunch. Mehta said you don’t need to be a woman or already in the field to attend.

Get tix

The Philly chapter of Women in Data is planning two more conferences this year — one in October, and other at the end of the year.

Companies: Women in Data — Philadelphia

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