Celebrating Women’s Day: 33 Women in Data Science from around the World & AV Community

avcontentteam 09 Mar, 2017 • 11 min read


She Believed, she could. So, she did

This Women’s Day we are celebrating the women power. We are celebrating all those women who have made a name for themselves in the analytics & data science industry despite all odds.

Today, I have decided to bring your attention to all the women out there, who deserve a  mention. Whether she is your colleague, subordinate or friend, acknowledge her efforts & recognize her hard work. Through this article, I am acknowledging the works of various women in data science from the early 1800s till 2017.

Yes, we are celebrating the women in data science, machine learning and analytics. The gender gap in data science industry is not any news to you. But the big revelation is that the gap is shrinking. More & more women are making their career move in data science & analytics.

From tech giants to revolutionary startups, women have done it all. And this Women’s Day, we are gonna recognize the women achievers & their significant contribution.

Come find out with me how many of these women do you know about.

Through this article, I also want to encourage more women to join the data science industry. And this article will tell you how perseverance and hard work can beat all obstacles.

Remember, if they could do it, so can you. After all, we all have the wonder women inside all of us.

Let’s tag the women leaders of tomorrow. Tag your friends or colleagues who deserve a mention.

And to all the women out there, Happy International Women’s Day !! 



1. Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a  gifted mathematician. Her contributions, to mathematics & computer science are widely recognized. Under the mentorship of Charles Babbage, she started her mathematics career. Along with Charles Babbage, she has significant contributions to the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognize that machines have applications beyond calculations. She created the first algorithm for operation of a machine, because of which she is also known as the first computer programmer.


2. Florence Nightingale  

Florence Nightingale was a statistician and social reformer. She was a gifted mathematician and excelled under the guidance of her father. She is a pioneer in the visual representation of data and statistical graphics. She is credited for developing polar area diagram a form of a histogram, also known as Nightingale rose diagram. She extensively used these graphs to present reports on medical conditions of people during Crimean War. She also made a statistical study on sanitation of India rural life and which led to improving the medical & public health services in India.


3. Gertrude Mary Cox 

Gertrude Mary Cox is an American statistician. She is well known for her work in experimental design. Her book Experimental Design is a well-acclaimed contribution to the design of experiments. It is a classic for design and analysis of replicated experiments. She is the founder of department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State University. She is one of the well-known names in te field of Statistics and has several accolades to her name.


4. Grace Hopper 

Grace Hopper is an American Computer Scientist and US Navy rear admiral. She was the first one to invent a compiler for a computer programming language. She believed programs should be written in a simplified language like English and popularized the term machine independent programming language. She developed COBOL one of the widely programming languages in every business till date. She developed validation software for COBOL and its compiler.


5. Dame Mary Lucy Cartwright 

Dame Mary Lucy Cartwright was a British mathematician. She is well known for her work in dynamic systems and chaos. She gave the proof for the analytical function and certain differential equations for radar work. The periodicity and stability of solutions of non-linear differential equations obtained by her along with a fellow form the basis for the modern theory of dynamical systems and chaos.


6. Corinna Cortes 

Corinna Cortes is the Head of Google Research. Corinna is well known for her research work and in particular, she is known for her contributions to the theoretical foundations of support vector machines (SVMs). Before joining Google, Corinna worked with AT&T labs where her work in data mining for large datasets earned her recognition and awards. Corinna has received awards such as – Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, AT&T Science and Technology Medal.


7. Hilary Mason 

Hilary Mason is the founder of FastForward Labs. She is one of the top influencers in data science industry. Before founding FastForward labs, Hilary was the chief data scientist at Bitly. She also co-founded HackNY, a not-for-profit organisation for students of NY. She has received several awards such as- TechFellows Engineering Leadership Forbes 40 under Forty List,  Crain’s New York 40 under Forty list.

8. Monica Rogati  

Monica Rogati is an independent Data Science Advisor where she works with various companies in education, healthcare, fitness, IoT, etc. She guides them for building data into products.  Earlier she was the Vice President of Data at Jawbone. Prior to Jawbone, She was one of the early members of the LinkedIn data science team and has worked there for more than 5 years as Senior Data Scientist.

9. Daphne Koller 

Daphne is Chief Computing Officer at CalicoLabs. She is also the co-founder of Coursera. Daphne has also taught at Stanford for 18 years as a Professor of Computer Science. She has been felicitated with various awards & accolades which include ACM Infosys Awards, MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and more. Her research focus lies in using probabilistic models and machine learning to understand complex domains that involve large amounts of uncertainty. Her work at CalicoLabs involves applying machine learning to healthcare.


10. Carla Gentry 

Carla Gentry is a Data Scientist at Talent Analytics, Corps. She carries an invaluable experience of over 20 years which includes working for Fortune 500 companies like Hershey, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s and Firestone. She is one of the most popular personalities in Big Data community to follow on Twitter.


11. Radhika Kulkarni 

Currently, She is the VP of Advanced Analytics R&D at SAS Institute. Radhika oversees software development in many analytical areas including Statistics, Operations Research, Econometrics, Forecasting and Data Mining. Radhika is a Member of the Board of Directors for IDeaS, a SAS Company.


12. Yael Garten

Yael Garten is the Director of Data Science at LinkedIn. She leads the growth and engagement team at LinkedIn. She leads a team of data scientists to drive business insights from understanding trends and data patterns. Before joining LinkedIn, Yael was pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford. She also advises biomedical companies to tranform their high throughput data into insights. She is also a speaker at various conferences.


13. Claudia Perlich

Claudia Perlich is the Chief Data Scientist at Distillery. She is one of the powerful women achievers in the data science industry. Having spend a major part of her life in analytics industry, Claudia marks as one of the first women to step into data science. She leads the machine learning team for Distillery’s digital intelligence for marketers and media companies. With more than 50 published articles on her name Claudia is a wellwell-recognizedert in big data and machine learning.


14. Caitlin Smallwood

Caitlin Smallwood is the Vice President of Algorithms and Science at Netflix. At Netflix Caitlin leads a team of mathematician, statistician and data scientist. She works on algorithms research, development, predictive modeling to bring to you a seamless experience while using Netflix. She is one of the women leaders in the tech and embrace the challenges thrown her way.


15. Shafirira Goldwasser 

Shafirira Goldwasser is an American-born Israeli computer scientist and professor at MIT. She is well known for her work in cryptography and computational number theory. She is the co-inventor of zero knowledge proofs, which demonstrates validity of an assertion without revealing any additional knowledge. This always plays an important role in defining crypotgraphy protocols. Shafirira has won several awards for her work – Godel Prize, ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, Turing Award and many more.


16. June Andrews  

June Andrews is a data scientist at Pinterest. June is an applied mathematician specializing in social network analysis. She has worked on search algorithms at Yelp, designed algorithms for computing large structure of networks. June has worked with LinkedIn & Yelp in the past. At Pinterest, she uses data science & machine learning to aggregate content generated by 50Bn users over a month.


17. Alice Zheng  

Alice Zheng is a Senior Manager for applied science at Amazon. Alice is a data scientist, researchers and author. Alice has worked on optimization team for Amazon’s Ad Platform, machine learning research scientist. She has written two books – Mastering Feature Engineering and Evaluating Machine Learning Models. In the past Alice has worked with Microsoft and Turi. She is an active member of data science meetups in Seattle.


18. Majken Sander 

Majken Sander is a solution architect at TimeXtender. She is a business analyst and business developer with a strong analytical mind. She has worked in analytics, business intelligence, IT and software development for 20+ years. She is keen on everything data, math and data driven as a business principle.


19. Crystal (Kahn) Valentine

Crystal Valentine is Vice President of Technology Strategy at MapR. Crystal has a background in Big data research and practice. She is the author of various academic publications in the area of algorithm, high-performance computing and computational biology. She also has a patent for Extreme Virtual Memory. 


20. Margot Gerritsen

Margot Gerritsen is the Director at Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford. Margot is a well known researcher and specializes in design & analysis of efficient numerical solution methods for partial differential equations that arise in fluid dynamics. She is also the author of two books – Introduction to Matrix Computations andNumerical Analysis in Science & Engineering.


21. Megan Price 

Megan Price is the Executive Director at Human Rights Data Analysis Group. Megan designs & strategizes methods for data analysis of human rights data for various countries like Guatemala, Colombia, Syria, etc. Using her data science skills she has helped solve several human rights problems in these countries. She is well acclaimed for her work in Syria and Guatemala.


22. Lori Sherer

Lori Sherer is Partner at Bain & Company. She is the leader of Bain’s Advanced analytics & best practices. Lori has been in the industry for over 20 years and is adept in advanced analytics & decision science. Lori is one of the leaders in analytics industry. In the past she has worked with McKinsey, FICO and RMS.


23. Raia Hadsell 

Raia Hadsell is a research scientist at Google Deepmind. Raia has worked on the deepmind and robotics platform for more than 10 years. Her efforts in deep learning and reinforcement learning have won her recognition in the field of robotics. At Google, she leads a team of researchers in robot navigation and lifelong learning.

24. Cynthia Dwork

Cynthia Dwork is an American computer scientist. She is well known for her work in privacy-preserving data analysis, cryptography and distributed computing. Cynthia is a Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard University and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is the recipient of Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize.


25. Animashree Anandkumar 

Animashree Anandkumar is a Principal Research Scientist at Amazon Web Services. Animashree was a professor at University of California Irvine before joining Amazon. She has worked on inference of graphical models, random-access algorithms and transaction tracking using timestamps. Her work has earned her recognition in the industry.


Women Data Scientist  in AV community

In this section, I am going to introduce you to some of the women achievers from our community.

1. Prarthana Bhatt

Prarthana Bhat is a Data Scientist at Flutura Desicion Science and Analytics. Prarthana is skilled in SQL, R and Business Intelligence. Prarthana is an active member on Analytics Vidhya and was the first female data scientist to secure a rank in top 3 on Analytics Vidhya. Prarthana did her BE in Computer Science from Mangalore Institute of Technology and Engineering and Diploma in Business Intelligence from NIIT. Prarthana has over 4+ years of experience.


2. Yaasna Dua 

Yaasna Dua is a Data Scientist at Info Edge India Ltd. Yaasna is skilled in machine learning, Python and Statistical Inference. Yaasna is one of the highly skilled data scientist in the AV community. She secured 2nd rank in one of the hackathons making it to the top list of women data scientist on AV. Yaasna did her B.Tech from Delhi School of Engineering and has around 3 years of experience.


3. Rashmi Nalavade 

Rashmi Nalavade is an Artificial Intelligence & ML Practitioner at L & T Technology Services. She is working with machine learning & artificial intelligence with Utilities, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing & FMCG companies. Rashmi is an active member of Analytics Vidhya and has over 20+ years of experience in data science industry. She has worked with companies like Accenture, PwC, Tech Mahindra and NIIT in the past.


4. Bolaka Mukherjee

Bolaka is the Tech Architecture Delivery Associate Manager at Accenture. Bolaka has been working with NLP, Predictive Analytics & Product Enginnering from past 8+years. Bolaka is also an active member of Analytics Vidhya and is skilled in Python, R & Weka. In the past, Bolaka has worked with companies like Abzooba, Ayata and others.


5. Anchal Gupta

Anchal is a Data Scientist at Emmfer Pvt Ltd. She is a keen data scientist and is a regular participant in machine learning hackathons on Analytics Vidhya. She’s passionate about data science and wants to explore the field beyond its boundaries. You can akways find her actively participating in discussions on our slack channel.


6. Tulika Singh

Tulika is a Technical Specialist at Syntel. She often participates in Strategic Thinking competitions and almost everytime makes it to the top 10 ranks. Tulika has more than 12+ years of experience in financial & valuation research. She is well versed with Predictive Analytics & modelling techniques like Machine Learning, Linear & Logistic Regressions, Time Series Analysis & Clustering Methods.


AV Volunteers

1. Preeti Agrawal 

Preeti is AVP at JP Morgan Chase & Co. and she has recently joined us as a Data Science Volunteer for Mumbai. She has 10+ years of experience in Telecom & Banking domain. She loves data science and wants to evanglize data science knowledge to the world. Preeti is a graduate from Nagpur Univeristy.


2. Tanvi Purohit 

Tanvi Purohit is a Consultant with Deloitte. She is skilled in RDBMS and passionate about data science. In her 3 years of career in data science, she has worked in data warehousing, data analytics and is a trained strategist. Tanvi has also recently joined us as AV Volunteer for Mumbai. Tanvi completed her Bachelors in Computer Science from Univeristy of Mumbai.


End Notes

I hope you enjoyed reading the article. I want all women out there to get motivated & join data science industry. To motivate you further, there are several conferences & workshops which happen every year to exclusively bring together all the women data scientist & ML practitioners.

Check out these conferences Women in Data Science, Women in Machine Learning, Women in Big Data and Bay Area Women’s Summit.

Let me know your thoughts on this article and don’t forget to tag your friends.

Learn, compete, hack and get hired

avcontentteam 09 Mar 2017

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Responses From Readers


John 08 Mar, 2017

Cheers... Happy women's day........

Takya 08 Mar, 2017

Hi, I've just started my path in the data science world and this post was really inspiring, thanks! Happy Women’s Day to you too

Preeti 08 Mar, 2017

Kudos to all our women warriors...remember 'Practice makes a man perfect , women are born perfect " ....so we will do it...and the gender gap will be reduced...Data Science requires skills which woman are bound to succeed at because we have learnt multitasking ...from an young age...like wise this is multi spilling so it comes naturally to us :P. Just that lets focus correctly....:)

Jain 08 Mar, 2017

Cheers ..Happy Womens day

Sabrina 08 Mar, 2017

Great Article Seating, women rock :)

Pratima Joshi
Pratima Joshi 09 Mar, 2017

Thanks a lot for such a comprehensive and inspiring article.

Carla Gentry
Carla Gentry 09 Mar, 2017

So honored to be included! It's been a wild ride for sure!! To all the girls out there, NEVER give up, you DO have something to contribute to humanity :o) MATH ROCKS!

Aishwarya 10 Mar, 2017

I want to learn datascience in analytics vidhya. Please let me know the details. Awaiting your valuable reply.

Aishwarya 10 Mar, 2017

I saw the ad on av express in banglore. Can I anyway participate online? Awaiting your valuable reply.

Majken Sander
Majken Sander 10 Mar, 2017

Am honored to be on the list with so many inspiring women working the field of data. And I love the fact that more and more women are joining, exercising their passion for math and data. Of course we can do it! :)

Zubair Ahmed
Zubair Ahmed 13 Mar, 2017

Hi Prarthana, I know you are very much passion about in Analytics but today you have achieved something to the extreme which world is turning around to see your victory. I am proud of the person you have become. Belated Happy women's day to all Adorable Women's!!!

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