Established in the fall of 2020, Women in Data at UC Davis (WiD@UCD) is open to anyone regardless of major, career goals, or identity. Co-founder and 2020-2021 Board Advisor, Caitlyn Liu, states, “As a new student organization, WiD@UCD is constantly growing and improving in the ways we serve our members.” WiD@UCD is the first college chapter of the international non-profit, Women in Data. With a mission to increase diversity in data careers, members connect with peers and professionals, learn through technical workshops, and gain potential leadership experience through board positions. Vanessa Jiang, co-founder and 2020-2021 Internal Operations Director explains, “We stand out from other campus organizations through building community. Aside from technical events to practice programming skills, we have bonding socials and a Slack workspace to establish strong rapport within the organization.” This student-run organization aims to create a very inclusive and welcoming space for anyone interested in exploring the data world. Members are encouraged to share experiences, ask questions, and introduce each other to all things related to data. Students who are interested in data can take their learning experience to the next level in their own unique way. One doesn’t need a data-related major to learn as data is now in every field—anyone can work with data if they want to! Members come from various backgrounds, like English, Economics, Communication, Community and Regional Development, and more!
External Operations Director
Connected to industry and research professionals, WiD@UCD hosts various workshops and symposiums throughout the year with speakers who are more than happy to support members. Members can also pick and choose a diverse set of topics to learn! Those who want to improve their data skills or consider themselves as beginners can attend various introductory events, such as Intro to Python, PowerBI, and R to name a few. WiD@UCD is open to students of all levels, so members have the opportunity to learn and grow together. “Our technical team answers questions and helps people with projects,” states Amanda Portier, co-founder and 2020-2021 External Operations Director. In the future, the organization hopes to encourage members to complete personal or team side projects.
Internal Operations Director
In order to have club members connect during the pandemic, they are motivated to participate in Slack conversations, where they can socialize, share interests, and ask for advice. “When someone asks quick questions on Slack, any member can respond. These small contributions help build a sense of community,” Vanessa expresses. An additional advantage for those in WiD@UCD is personal Google Calendar event invites. A Member Resources Drive is also shared, where members can access a bunch of compiled data and self-learning resources. Aside from building a safe space where members can learn technical, professional, and social skills, the club is open to feedback. Caitlyn mentions, “We’re very open to feedback and getting ideas for events from our members.”
Directors and board members focus their energy on planning events that are meaningful and impactful to the rest of the club. From weekly workshops, monthly socials, and quarterly symposiums, WiD@UCD aims to expand members’ benefits and horizons. “We are constantly looking for growth and are ready for in-person activities,” says Amanda. “We are hoping to create a data analytics group, host a career fair, and put together a hackathon once students are back on campus.”
To find out more about Women in Data at UC Davis, like them on Facebook and fill out their Member Onboarding Form.