David Morganstein, Westat Vice President and Director of the Statistical Staff, and 2015 American Statistical Association (ASA) President, was interviewed in a recent Washington Post article about the dramatic increase of women into the field of statistics and how the field is pursuing new approaches to draw in talented women to meet the increasing demand in data science.
The article points out that more than any other STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), statistics draws a significant portion of women, citing that more than 40% of statistics degrees go to women, and that women make up 40% of statistics department faculty.
Why is the field of statistics well ahead of the other STEM areas? Mr. Morganstein notes that the field of statistics has been more attractive to women because it has
- Created a welcoming environment
- Promoted female leaders as role models
Mr. Morganstein pointed to efforts by the ASA to meet this ongoing challenge, specifically appointing women to participate in and lead committees, sponsoring a conference about women in statistics, and reaching out to middle and high school girls and minorities to pursue careers in the science of statistics in the ASA’s program “This Is Statistics.”