10 Communities for Underrepresented Data Scientists

It’s no secret that the tech sector faces pressing fairness issues, starting from coded bias in job postings to racist terminology in codebases to damning workforce diversity statistics.

Zoom in particularly on data science, analytics and machine learning, and the problems persist. For occasion, research exhibits that girls solely make up between 15 and 20 % of all knowledge science-related roles. Women additionally make round $10,000 lower than males who carry out the identical jobs, based on a 2016 knowledge science wage survey by O’Reilly.

Industry bias is especially damaging to Black girls, who account for simply 3 percent of the data and analytics workforce. At the identical time, marginalized folks typically who work in knowledge and analytics are twice as more likely to be handed over for management roles than white males, based on recent survey numbers.

These disparities have critical downstream implications, too. Recent evidence signifies {that a} lack of range amongst machine studying groups can potentiate algorithmic bias — which has had profound penalties in facial recognition, insurance rates, hiring and different areas.

“It’s important to really think about product development and that stage as one that is not neutral,” Jessie Daniels, a Hunter College sociology professor and former product supervisor, told USA Today. “We tend to think of product development like we think about a lot of things in this culture, which is that they are somehow walled off from discussions of race, and they are simply not.”

Bridging these gaps takes effort and — after all — help. Luckily, the information science neighborhood additionally sports activities many notable networking organizations geared toward advancing girls, folks of coloration and folks with disabilities within the knowledge subject. 

Some of those teams, which offer sources and host technical {and professional} meetups, are long-established with giant membership numbers. Others are nonetheless rising. Each one is price a glance.

RelatedAre You Unwittingly Keeping Diversity Out of Your Talent Pipeline?


Networking Communities


When we spoke earlier this year with Caitin Hudon, the co-organizer of the Austin chapter of R-Ladies, she underscored what many ladies in knowledge science believe: The R neighborhood stands out as an exemplar of inclusiveness and help. Nowhere is that extra evident than R-Ladies, which incorporates some 75,000 members throughout greater than 200 chapters in 50-plus nations worldwide.

Individual chapters have thrived because of logistical and monetary help provided by R Consortium, which helps organizers plan common workshop meetups. Common tutorials embody textual content mining, ggplot2 and guided TidyTuesdays — a supportive public observe house for knowledge wrangling and visualization.

“It’s important to have a community and a safe place where you can be yourself and ask questions without judgment,” Gabriela de Queiroz, R-Ladies founder and program director of open supply, knowledge and AI applied sciences at IBM, told Business Insider.


pyladies underrepresented data science communitiesPyLadies

Python, the opposite main knowledge science programming language, additionally sports activities a strong support community for girls and non-binary folks, with tens of hundreds of members in dozens of worldwide teams.

Of course, Python isn’t unique to knowledge science, so some chapters and meetups have a tendency to emphasise internet improvement over knowledge, however many give it precedence. The largest U.S.-based PyLadies outpost, NYC PyLadies, for instance, has held latest workshops and examine teams for key knowledge science libraries and packages like PyTorch, PyMC3, pandas and Plotly, plus seminars on ideas equivalent to imputing lacking knowledge, internet scraping and the way to scale machine studying.

A map and listing of present chapters is offered here, and a starter package for launching a brand new chapter might be discovered here. (PyLadies levels a preferred auction every year, which helps fund its giant constellation of chapters.) Other sources embody an energetic GitHub and Slack channel, the place customers can pose and reply questions, share milestones, publish job listings and promote associated occasions.


wimlds underrepresented data science communitiesWiMLDS

Founded in 2013 by Erin LeDell, chief machine studying scientist at H2O.ai, this network has grown into one of the vital energetic for each established and early-career girls and gender minorities in knowledge science and ML. Independent chapters — totaling some 100 worldwide, with greater than 25 within the U.S. — share notable woman-authored ML papers and host mentorship applications, hackathons, networking occasions and technical and career-development tutorials. Topics vary from ML embeddings and human-centered knowledge science to transitioning from academia to trade. The largest teams are the Bay Area and New York City chapters, which not too long ago reactivated after a pandemic-prompted pause.


women in machine learning underrepresented data science communitiesWomen in Machine Learning

WiML has been spotlighting the work of ladies machine studying practitioners for greater than 15 years, lengthy predating up to date mile-markers within the mainstreaming of ML, from Watson’s Jeopardy! run to the emergence of Kaggle. The group maintains an ever-growing directory of ladies knowledge scientists and ML college and researchers; hosts mentoring occasions; operates a mailing list the place customers publish job listings, sends out requires competitors participation, internship notices, PhD alternatives and extra; and covers registration charges for eligible people at taking part conferences.

That features a long-running workshop at NeuRIPS — the group’s flagship occasion — plus presences at ICLR and ICML, the place attendees can soak up technical talks and networking alternatives.

WiML has additionally earned a repute for broader range and inclusion. “These are women of all different backgrounds, all different pedigrees,” Brandeis Marshall, a Spelman College professor and outstanding advocate for range in knowledge science, told the DataFramed podcast in a dialogue about increasing the sphere for folks of coloration and different underrepresented teams.

Related6 Ways to Combat Bias in Machine Learning


latinx in ai underrepresented data science communitiesLatinX in AI

Inspired by the success of Black in AI and Women in Machine Learning, Laura Montoya founded this community in 2018 to assist stop the event of biased tech merchandise and counteract automation’s disproportionate impact on minority employees, particularly by providing help for Latinx knowledge scientists and machine studying and AI engineers. 

LXAI gives an app that lets members join and share sources. It additionally sponsors scholarships, organizes workshops and networking occasions and runs a mentorship program for college kids and early-career professionals — matching mentors and mentees by specialization, profession degree, location and language.


black in ai underrepresented data science communitiesBlack in AI

Before her ouster from Google turned a flashpoint for AI ethics, Timnit Gebru, together with fellow main researcher on algorithmic bias Rediet Abebe, co-founded this group to advertise and advance the work of Black AI researchers. 

In addition to connecting members to job alternatives and offering energetic boards to debate work and concepts, Black in AI additionally hosts a number of conferences — most notably the BAI workshop, co-located at NeuRIPS — and supplies a bevy of help for college kids and early-career practitioners. That consists of scholarships, convention journey grants and graduate college and post-grad profession steering. Black in AI additionally not too long ago unveiled a summer season analysis program, and an entrepreneurship program for Black founders is within the works.


black in data underrepresented data science communitiesBlack in Data

This on-line help neighborhood for Black knowledge professionals supplies an area to share information, concepts and sources, whereas providing mentorships for Black knowledge college students. Perhaps most notably, it’s additionally the launchpad of Black in Data Week, an internet symposium of webinars and talks geared toward amplifying Black knowledge work and providing academic and career-development primers. Seminars ultimately 12 months’s inaugural occasion included NLP in Python, algorithmic bias, knowledge careers after age 40 and integrating R and Tableau for knowledge visualization.

Dataviz is a outstanding matter at Black in Data, which additionally launched the Black in Data Visualization Challenge in collaboration with the Data Visualization Society. The problem highlighted the work of Black dataviz designers whereas additionally incorporating knowledge units that replicate the lived experiences of Black folks.

It’s all about advocacy. “I envision Black people being present in increasing numbers in the data field, both horizontally (in multiple sub-fields) as well as vertically (in positions of varying power),” wrote co-founder Simone Webb in 2020. “I envision data science to be a space that sees Black people thrive and supports our journeys wholly, even if we are the only one, or one of few, in the room.”

RelatedImproving Racial Equity in Data Integration


queer in ai underrepresented data science communitiesQueer in AI

Queer in AI launched with a mission to offer “a safe and inclusive place” within the AI neighborhood “that welcomes, supports and values” LGBTQ+ of us. It does so partially with common appearances at main AI conferences, together with NAACL, the place it hosts digital socials, and NeuRIPS and ICML, the place it’s led workshops that highlight analysis produced by queer researchers or targeted on LGBTQ+ illustration. Queer in AI additionally invests closely in mentorship, with monetary help companies and undergraduate initiatives that embody mentorship sequence, convention buddy applications, profession recommendation and psychological well being sources.

You may also see the group in motion doing broader advocacy work, whether or not that’s compiling guidelines on the way to ask (or not ask) for gender knowledge in questionnaires or advocating against AI makes use of with damaging downstream results for queer folks.

Join the neighborhood by following the Queer in AI Twitter page, subscribing to the mailing list or requesting to affix the Slack neighborhood, which has channels for analysis, recommendation, bulletins and extra.


out in tech underrepresented data science communitiesOut in Tech

This long-running LGBTQ+ tech neighborhood — which, at 40,000-plus members, payments itself as the most important of its variety — isn’t completely targeted on knowledge science, however the many meetups and talks it hosts typically have an information element, equivalent to An Evening With… AI/Machine Learning Professionals or AI/ML + Queering the Future. There are additionally loads of useful, specialty-agnostic gatherings — together with job festivals, networking occasions and profession recommendation seminars — recurrently scheduled throughout OiT’s satellite tv for pc cities. In the States, these embody Portland, New York City, Austin, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

Aside from occasions, Out in Tech additionally hosts a mailing listing, a 15,000-member Slack channel and a job board. Other help features a free, eight-week mentorship program for folks between the ages of 17 and 24.


disability in ai underrepresented data science communitiesDisAbility in AI

Founded by Maria Skoularidou — a generative modeling researcher at University of Cambridge and chair of range, inclusion and accessibility at NeurIPS 2021 — DisAbility in AI advocates for disabled folks in AI and ML by, based on the group’s web site, internet hosting mentoring periods and offering entry help at conferences and workshops. The group’s Twitter feed additionally serves as an energetic dialogue house for accessibility-related points, information objects and job alternatives in AI, ML and knowledge science.


Additional Communities and Resources to Know

Women Who Code Data Science

The data science wing of the revered non-profit Women Who Code.



RainbowR is a community with meetups, mentorships and bulletins for LGBTQ+ members of the R neighborhood.


Inclusive AI

A recently established group that promotes underrepresented teams in AI by way of workshops, talks and scholarship alternatives.


The Sadie Collective

The Sadie Collective is devoted to advancing alternatives for Black girls in economics and associated fields, together with knowledge science.


Widening NLP

Widening NLP promotes researchers from underrepresented teams within the subject of natural-language processing.


Women in Computer Vision

WiCV advocates for girls researchers and college students in pc imaginative and prescient.



A Black in Data companion, BlackTIDES gives skilled and technical help for Black knowledge professionals.


AI & ML Club

An inclusive knowledge science and machine studying Clubhouse room with 40-thousand-plus followers, AI & ML Club was based by an ML veteran of Reddit, Yelp and PayPal, together with an ML teacher at Stanford University.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here