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Women in data science: networking in Chemnitz

At the beginning of June, Lisa Eidloth, research assistant in the Visual Analytics research group at the Institute for Information Systems (iisys), took part in an IT event specifically for female computer science researchers. She reports on the topics of the Chemnitz event and what the added value was for her. WiDS (Women in Data Science) is a project organized by members of the SALE junior research group and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

WiDS (Women in Data Science) met in Chemnitz; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

What kind of event is it?

“WiDS is a project dedicated to promoting women in the field of data science and related disciplines. Over 1000 events are offered worldwide every year. WiDS also offers workshops on subject-specific topics and personal development. One goal of WiDS is to achieve a global share of 30% female specialists in teaching, innovation and leadership. Although the series of events is aimed specifically at women, male colleagues are also very welcome. I experienced this during my participation in Chemnitz.”

What is the aim of this event in particular?

“I was a guest at a regional conference in Chemnitz. The aim was to exchange expertise, think outside the box and network.”

Which topics appealed to you the most?

“For example, I was interested in the presentations by two research group leaders on their current projects in the field of machine learning and graph neural networks. It was particularly exciting to find out what topics other universities and research groups are working on, how these are classified and applied in science, business and society and to find possible points of intersection with my own work. The panel discussion with two women from science/teaching and business about their path to becoming a manager and professor was also very interesting.”

Lisa Eidloth, research assistant in the research group
Visual Analytics at iisys; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Why did you go, what was the added value for you?

“The conference was recommended to me by one of our former employees, who has already attended the event at the University of Regensburg several times, and our research group leader Claus Atzenbeck. The topic of promoting women is also generally a topic that is not forgotten in our team. So it was almost logical to go and hear what other women had to say.

For me personally, I see both professional and personal input as added value. By personal input, I mean, for example, hearing about the speakers’ careers, the challenges they faced and their personal “stocktaking” with regard to women in science, teaching and leadership positions.”

Were you able to network well?

“The nice thing about this type of event is that everything is very “approachable”. For example, it was exciting to talk to the speakers about their work afterwards. I was also able to hear experiences from their professional practice that hadn’t been discussed before.”

What did you bring back to Hof in your research group?

“I would say: the reinforcement of an interdisciplinary approach.”

Will you be going back next time?

“Definitely, yes.”

Anne-Christine Habbel

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