WiDS award winners

UBC Women’s Data Science club wins award for inclusivity efforts

The Women in Data Science (WiDS) group at the University of British Columbia, a student-led initiative, has recently been honoured with a UBC Student Club Community Impact Award. 

This recognition highlights the group's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment in the field of data science and technology, through all the events and opportunities they offer throughout the year. They have been chosen overall from 52 groups recognized by the UBC Science Undergrad Society.

WiDS UBC has over 750 members who identify as women or gender minorities, and they are known for organizing events that promote inclusivity and skill development within the fields of data science and computer science. These events are open to all UBC prospective and current CS and data science students, statistics students, and even all science and UBC students in general. The events range from hackathons and technical workshops, to social gatherings and networking opportunities, all aiming to provide a supportive environment for learning and growth. 

Considering the club was founded in May of 2022, this award is a notable accomplishment that arrives in the early days of the club’s existence. Tara Ubovic, the president of WiDS UBC, explains, "Our goal is not just to celebrate women in data science but to build a community where everyone, regardless of their background, feels welcome and empowered."

The award, given by the UBC Science community, recognizes clubs that significantly contribute to the university’s community. For the honour, WiDS received a cheque and a trophy. Tara remarks, "We are grateful for this recognition. It's a reflection of our team's effort to make a positive impact through our initiatives. I believe we won the award due to the impactful activities initiated during the 2023-2024 school year.”

Throughout the past year, WiDS has focused on various activities, including webinars featuring woman-identifying data scientists and engineers, and workshops on data science tools like R, Tableau, and SQL. They have also collaborated with other student organizations like UBC Bolt, Women in Computer Science (WiCS), Google, The UBC Computer Science Student Society (CSSS) on various social events and through clubs like the Astronomy Club and the Math Undergraduate Society. They have also hosted events like AlumNight, connecting students with industry professionals and alumni across diverse tech roles.

Tara explained their mission, “We prioritize access to data science for women through sponsorships and mentorship for all skill levels, fostering inclusivity and challenging tech stereotypes. Moving forward, our goals include expanding our reach and creating safe learning environments to make data science accessible to everyone.”

Receiving the award (a trophy and a monetary prize) at the SUS Science Student Recognition Awards Night Gala on March 7 this year was a proud moment for the club. "This award encourages us to keep striving towards our mission," Tara shares. "It's about making a difference and continuing to provide opportunities for learning and growth."

Award night
At the SUS Science Student Recognition Awards Night Gala

Since its inception in May 2022, WiDS has grown significantly in size and scope, focusing on collaboration and creating inclusive learning environments. The club looks forward to continuing its work in fostering diversity and inclusivity in the tech field. The award is well-deserved and punctuates the fantastic work WIDS is doing at UBC.

To learn more about the club or to join their community, interested individuals can visit WiDS UBC social media pages: 

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