WiMLDS Paris wins the Science & Research Award at Women in Tech Challenge 2019 🏆

WiMLDS Paris
May 21 · 5 min read
The Paris WiMLDS: Caroline Chavier, Chloé-Agathe Azencott & Natalie Cernecka (absent: Marina Vinyes, who was teaching students to code the night of the ceremony)

If you follow us, you probably know that WiMLDS Paris recently won the Women in Tech Challenge 2019 award in the Science & Research category. We never thought that we would be finalists, not to say winners! That’s why we decided to share the story behind the challenge to inspire women to pursue goals that seem out of reach 🙌


It all began in February 2019, when our very own Natalie Cernecka spotted the Women in Tech challenge, an international non-profit organization present in 60 countries. Without hesitation, the WiMLDS Paris team decided to apply, in order to get feedback on our work and to increase visibility of the global and local work done by WiMLDS (Women in Machine Learning & Data Science).

What is the Women in Tech Challenge? It was launched to “help women and girls embrace Tech by taking actions in a number of fields that cover everything from education to entrepreneurship.”

“Instead of reinventing the wheel, we wanted to create an international call for projects that would identify the initiatives that already exist across the globe — success stories that can be scaled-up and replicated anywhere.”

Ayumi Moore Aoki, the Founder & President of Women in Tech

Among more than 200 applications in 4 categories: Education, Entrepreneurship, Science & Research, & Social Inlcusion, the international jury selected 16 finalists. We learned in April that we were selected in the Science & Research category alongside 3 other organizations for Women in Tech. ⬇️

Driving Wintech, Health Tech Lab & NASA — Goddard Space Fight Communications Division

The winners were announced directly at the award ceremony on the 15th of May in Paris. We were overjoyed and surprised to win, and also very happy to meet other finalists and winners, who came from all over the world 🌍

❤️ Education: STEM Talent Girl, Spain

🧡 Entrepreneurship: Zimba Women, Uganda

💛 Science & Research: Paris Women in Machine Learning & Data Science, France

💚 Social Inclusion: Apps and Girls, Tanzania

💙 “Coup de coeur” of the jury: The Rural Woman, Australia

Panel discussion led by Caroline Codsi with the 4 winners

After the award was announced, we received many congratulations 🎆 from our community and beyond, with new people asking about our meetup. We would like to thank everyone who reached out, and also to remind here what we do and what we stand for.

What is Paris WiMLDS?

The Paris WiMLDS (Women in Machine Learning & Data Science) meetup has been created in July 2017. It is the second European chapter of the WiMLDS organization, whose aim is to promote women and gender minorities in the field of Machine Learning and Data Science.

🎉 The Paris WiMLDS meetup organized its first event in September 2017 and within 18 months became the third largest WiMLDS meetup worldwide: the Paris WiMLDS community comprises now over 2500 members! Our members are aspiring and practicing data scientists, university students, software engineers, researchers, and people interested in the field. Our speakers are women, but all genders are welcome to attend our events.

What is the impact of WiMLDS Paris ?

We believe that role models are crucial to increase the number and representation of women and other minorities in the field of machine learning and data science, which is having a huge impact on our future. Our goal is to create, find, encourage, promote, and profile diverse role models.

Concretely, even if the meetup is open to everyone regardless of their gender, only women speak at our events. Our specialty is discovering and showcasing hidden talents, and we are purposefully on the lookout for the first-time speakers. Indeed, of almost 50 speakers to date, 50% spoke in public for the first time.


What is unique about WiMLDS Paris?

💎 Whereas WiMLDS Paris meetup is a part of a global organization, it is unique in many ways. First, our events are entirely free, therefore enabling students, young professionals, career switchers, and people from all social backgrounds to network with and learn from seasonal professionals.

Second, its runs several communication channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack …) sharing valuable insights and information, such as job postings, calls for projects, scientific papers, and raising profile of its members nationally and internationally.

Third, it creates a powerful international network for women in the field, on which they can rely throughout their careers.

Last but not least: all this would not have been possible without our community. Our members, our speakers, our hosts, our volunteers, all of whom we would like to thank. We shall continue advancing the cause of women in machine learning and data science, raising their visibility, and organising many more events in the months and years to come. Stay tuned!


If you want to learn more about our activities, to attend our events, or to get in touch, you can:

📑check our Google spreadsheet if you want to speak 📣, host 💙, or help 🌠

🔗follow our Twitter account, Meetup page, Instagram or LinkedIn page

📩send an email to the Paris WiMLDS team to keep in touch >paris@wimlds.org

📍join our Slack channel for more discussions about machine learning, data science, and diversity in tech!

🎬 Follow our WiMLDS Paris Youtube channel

📸 WiMLDS has an Instagram account and a global LinkedIn page!

🔥 Feel free to share your company or lab’s job positions for free on WiMLDS’ website.

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