10 Women in Data
Data is an incredibly important and thrilling topic. It will shape our future and provide the tools that are sometimes even beyond our comprehension. However, what is also crucial when thinking 'data' is diversity. Here are the Top 10 'women in data' from Germany (you will be thrilled)
Britta Daffner has been in the technology and data industry for over a decade. Her credo is to drive innovation and digitalization of companies – through technology and leadership. As a department head in the area of ‘Artificial Intelligence & Data Science; in the consulting division of IBM, she enables companies to get the full potential of data. In addition, she is a coach and mentor for leaders, who want to make a difference in the corporate and business world and speaks as a keynote speaker on topics such as digitalization, leadership and business. She publishes in online magazines like MoreThanDigital and has been nominated several times for the Digital Female Leader Award.
"Gold of the digital age is data. And it’s becoming increasingly important and valuable. Data science can be used to find answers to questions that a human being alone cannot solve or that they may never have asked themselves."
Dr. Ing. Susan Wegner
Dr. Ing. Susan Wegner is responsible for the Business Unit Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics at Lufthansa Industry Solutions. The new business unit combines the company’s AI and data analytics skills and provides consultancy and implementation services for companies across various sectors, from strategy to operation. She has more than 15 years of experience, especially in the fields of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Platform/Software Design at Deutsche Telekom and other companies e.g. Robert Bosch, T-Systems. In addition, since 2013 she has held different positions within Motionlogic, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom Group as Founder, CEO, chairperson and member of the advisory board.
"Data science is like a treasure hunt, in which new technologies and analytical methods are used to generate knowledge in the shortest possible time from data that is not always directly accessible to humans, because of their high complexity."
Malgorzata currently works as Machine Learning (ML) Engineer at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) unit of Axel Springer SE. Her entry into Data Science was not a typical one: She studied geography and climatology and until her graduation she believed her dream job was in the area of renewable energies. During her internship in this field she was disappointed with how little she worked with real data. That was when she decided to change plans and look for a profession where she could crunch numbers for a living. This is how she found Data Science. Then, all she had to do was learn how to code. The moment she wrote her first ‘Hello world’ program, she knew she made the right choice!
"I love Data Science because it is so creative. You are given a zip file with a mess called ‘data’. Your client doesn’t often know exactly what they want and yet, at the end of the project, you’ve created something that makes a positive difference. And you do it with your bare hands and imagination!"
Since April 2016 she is a PhD researcher at the Social & Information Systems group of MPI-SWS Saarbrücken and Humboldt Universität in Berlin, Germany. Her research interests focus around Artificial Intelligence and its social impact, automatic discrimination discovery and algorithmic fairness, algorithmic exploitation, as well as the use of Artificial Intelligence in medical applications. In her research, she develops algorithms to mitigate bias and discrimination in rankings against socially salient groups. She is a 2017 grantee of the Data Transparency Lab Research grant and a Google WTM scholar of 2019. She is also the founder of https://www.fairness-measures.org/, a collection of datasets and methods for fairness in machine learning and a co-founder of https://github.com/fair-search, the first open source API for fairness in ranking algorithms.
"By using data science, we have the chance to mitigate society's iniquities and unfairness, if we manage to translate justice concepts into code. I'm happy to do my part on it."
Having a background in Data Science, Data Management as well as Innovation Management, Claudia Pohlink seamlessly connects business and Data Science aspects of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Claudia’s team at T-Labs, the research unit of Deutsche Telekom, drives the adaptation of AI methods, such as machine learning (ML), across relevant business areas. Claudia is a member of the Bitkom Board for Artificial Intelligence and plays an active role in Berlin’s AI/ML and start-up communities. In addition, she regularly shares her knowledge as guest speaker at kids' events, schools, industry events and reviewer at Berlin’s universities. In 2019, she was honored as one of the Global Women Leaders in AI.
"AI models need to be developed and challenged from different perspectives, in order to achieve robustness and reliability. Only diverse teams can provide these perspectives!"
Nicole Büttner is the Co-Founder and CEO of MerantixLABS, a leading AI solutions provider and has previously founded DataQuotient. Nicole was nominated as Digital Leaders for Europe by the World Economic Forum. She has been building technology driven solutions for clients for over 6 years and looks back on 12+years of business experience. Nicole started her career as a portfolio manager, investing in hedge funds at OFI AM in Paris. She trained as an economist and econometrician at the University of St.Gallen, Stockholm School of Economics and Stanford University and holds a MA in quantitative economics and finance.
"Machine learning is a technology that will disrupt all industries and is already changing all of our lives. We need to get diversity right to make sure we all have a stake at shaping this future."
Mina Saidze founded and leads the Berlin Chapter of Women in Data, an international organization with over 9,000 members worldwide. Her mission is to increase diversity in data careers by encouraging more women to enter the field of Advanced Analytics, Data Science and Machine Learning. She currently works as a Data Analyst at idealo, Europe's leading price comparison platform and one of the largest websites in the German e-commerce market. She also develops data products for companies, in the New Business department. Before idealo, Mina established a career in the media industry as journalist (taz.die tageszeitung, Deutsche Welle, Radio Bremen) as well Data Analyst (Funke Mediengruppe, Axel Springer). She is an alumni of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and guest author in Business Punk and t3n.
"Data is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power. More Women in Data = More Women in Power."
Marie-Louise Timcke is a programming journalist and heads the interactive department of the Funke Media Group. There she works together with an interdisciplinary team of developers, designers and journalists, using new research methods and visual narrative forms. After her data journalism studies at the TU Dortmund University, she founded Journocode, an initiative for more data literacy and IT skills in journalism.
"Why we urgently need more diversity in Data: On which topics data and statistics are available has a far-reaching influence on political and economic decisions that are made on the basis of this available information. Diversity in Data is needed, so that this basis for decision-making covers all perspectives."
Carla Hustedt leads the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s “Ethics of Algorithms” project. Together with her team she is conducting research on the societal consequences of algorithmic decision-making, while also working on practical solutions for the development of digital technology that serves everyone in the society. Carla consulted the German parliament’s AI Enquete Commission on the issue of transparency of Artificial Intelligence, coordinated the development of the Algo.Rules, a set of nine principles for the ethical use of algorithmic decision-making systems, and co-created educational TV formats explaining digitization to children. Along with the digital transformation, she is also dedicated to topics of antidiscrimination and gender equality. She is therefore also fighting for more diversity in the Tech-sector.
"We urgently need more diversity in the debate about digitization, because whoever gets to decide where and how databased technology is used will also decide over questions of participation, equality and therefore determine what future we are going to live in."
Ghazaleh Koohestanian has more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech environment. She successfully demonstrated her passion for new technologies and digital innovations in product development at Nokia Technologies in Beijing and at Google Family internationally. At the same time, she developed software (for which she also holds the patent) that allows data and applications to be harmonized regardless of the operating system. Amongst others, she developed innovation software in the mobility sector, e.g. for Daimler, VW AG and aviation. Currently, she is building a data driven Circular Economy for electromobility with local authorities and public companies and an application for journalists to combat fake news.
"Data Science is the new way to represent reality. If you understand reality, you can better plan and coordinate your actions."
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