Report Finds That the Field of Data Science Has an Image Problem Among Women

A forthcoming report by Boston Consulting Group, entitled What’s Keeping Women out of Data Science, finds that almost half of all women STEM students perceive data science to be overly theoretical and has a low impact on society. The study reveals that nearly 75 percent of female data science majors are looking for exactly the opposite from their future jobs. The study found that women prefer applied, impact-driven work. Many women view the field as “nerdy” and overly competitive, according to the study. Today, less than one quarter of all data scientists are women.

The study revealed that only around 63 percent of men and 55 percent of women are well informed about the various career opportunities in data science. Even among data science and computer science majors, nearly half complained of poor clarity regarding career path options within the field.

“Companies cannot simply rely on the media buzz around artificial intelligence, hoping for the job of data scientist to magically ‘sell itself’ to students,” said Sylvain Duranton, of the Boston Consulting Group and an author of the report. “They must create a visible culture within their data science teams that celebrates impact and shuns competitiveness, and then make this career opportunity very tangible and attractive to students of both genders.”

Filed Under: Research/Study

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