Women in data can help tackle gender inequality

Encouraging more women and girls to learn data skills can help tackle gender inequality and build a more diverse society, a conference will hear today.

Speaking at the annual ‘Doing Data Right’ conference in Edinburgh, Open Knowledge Foundation chief executive Catherine Stihler will call on governments to do more to engage young women in data skills, particularly outwith maths and science. She will argue that this will help empower more women to use data to improve their local communities, their cities and their countries.

Former MEP for Scotland Ms Stihler will call for more citizen-generated data through schools, libraries, churches and community groups to generate high-quality data relating to gender equality and diversity, as well as other issues such as air quality and climate action.

Ms Stihler is speaking at The Scotsman conference, Doing Data Right: Through people and partnerships, on a panel on ‘Women in data’ – along with campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez, Gillian Hogg of Heriot-Watt University, and Talat Yaqoob of Equate Scotland.

Speaking ahead of the event, Open Knowledge Foundation chief executive Catherine Stihler said:

“Governments across the world must work harder to give everyone access to key information and the ability to use it to understand and shape their lives, building a fair, free and open future.

“Without data skills, people will be ill-equipped to take on many jobs of the future.

“We need to encourage more women and girls to learn data skills, particularly outwith subjects such as maths and science.

“These skills will then pave the way for pioneering new ways of producing and harnessing citizen-generated data through schools, libraries, churches and community groups, which in turn can help tackle gender inequality, build a more diverse society, and address issues such as climate change and air quality.”