Women in Analytics at INFORMS Analytics
“…some Eastern European and Asian countries frequently produce girls with profound ability in mathematical problem solving; most other countries, including the USA, do not.” Now that I have your attention, read the sentence again to catch the qualifier “frequently.” Read on for my highlights of opportunities to check out women from both sets of countries during the upcoming INFORMS Analytics conference.
This quote is from an article “Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving” that I found a few years ago when trying to understand the phenomenon I observed of many smart, talented women with profound abilities in math (many of whom are INFORMS members) who were not born in the US, as I was. There is plenty of data showing the gender gap in STEM in the US, so instead of lamenting what we are doing wrong in the US I wanted to look for positive deviants – those countries who deviate in a positive direction, who somehow produce women in STEM disciplines in high numbers. Attend an INFORMS conference and you are bound to meet many women from countries like China, India, Turkey and Iran. While Teen Talk Barbie (released in 1992) could speak one of four phrases at the push of a button, including “math class is tough,” perhaps she wasn’t distributed in those countries?
We’ll be discussing these kinds of questions and more in a Tuesday session at 1:50 titled “Panel Discussion: Advancing Women’s Excellence In The Field Of Data & Analytics, facilitated by Noha Tohamy of Gartner and also including Mei Zhang from American Airlines, Nancy Pyron of Starwood Hotels and me. But you can also check out:
- Jennifer Priestley on Monday morning at 9:10, where she will share “Four Things that Women in Data Science Can Learn from Game of Thrones.”
- Women in OR/MS: Cocktails and Questions with Diane Bryant, COO Google Cloud on Monday at 5:00
- Women in OR/MS Networking Breakfast on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m.
And of course, there are speakers who just so happen to be women. So if you are a woman, love a woman, have daughters, or just want to be supportive, come contribute to the conversation in these sessions. As our revised Rosie the Riveters say, we ALL can do it, and we need to pass that message along!