The Women in Data Science (WiDS) initiative aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and to support women in the field. WiDS is administered by the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering, Stanford University, USA. The WiDS conference, associated events, and data challenges are all aimed at nurturing human resources in the field of data science.
Since 2015, there have been approximately 150+ regional WiDS events worldwide. Japan Yokohama City University YCU) held its first event, WiDS Tokyo@YCU, on 22nd March 2019 with the cooperation of universities, industry players and public sector participants.
WiDS Ambassador Associate Professor Yoko Ono, of Yokohama City University's Department of Data Science, opened the symposium and stated "this year is the first for WiDS in Japan. I want to conduct WiDS Tokyo@YCU activities in Japan based on the following three pillars. That is: to inspire and to educate many people who want to become data scientists. And to support them."
Ms. Sonoko Watanabe, Deputy Director-General of MEXT gave a lecture on the “Development of Data Science Human Resources and Gender Diversity for the future.”
"This year is the first for WiDS in Japan. I want to conduct WiDS Tokyo@YCU activities in Japan based on the following three pillars. That is: to inspire and to educate many people who want to become data scientists. And to support them."
Prof. Michiko Watanabe, a professor at the Graduate School of Health Management at Keio University, talked about data science education, especially Japanese educational reforms that strengthen data utilization. As a corporate use case, Cyber Agent's Mayumi Kousaka presented on “Data Utilization in Human Resources - Data Science for Human Resources Management.” Ms.Kikuko Shirakawa, Executive Officer of NTT DoCoMo, gave a lecture on “History of Data Utilization at DOCOMO- Let’s make full use of AI.”
Ambassador Ono became a facilitator of the Panel Discussion. “What is data science, how can we increase participation and representation, and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and data science” were the main topics up for discussion.
The second part of the symposium was dedicated to “Idea Challenge 2019 WiDS TOKYO @ YCU”. The finalists in the 'student' and 'general entry' category presented their analysis and the grand winner was selected in each category. "New work styles" was the theme of the first Idea Challenge. Six entries, three from each 'student' and 'general entry' proceeded to the final screening at the WiDs symposium. The grand winner of the 'student' category was an all-female team from the School of Data Science at Yokohama City University.
The presentation was titled “37,420,000 Pattern – New Working Styles for the New Era.” They used data to analyze the current work-life balance situation in japan and proposed solutions to address the imbalance. The grand winner of the 'general' category was a team from ANA Trading Company. Their presentation was on "Efficient Use of Toilets – Using Toilet Usage Data to Promote Workplace Reforms". The uniqueness of data used and recommendations made it stand out from the rest.