Manchester academic recognised as one of UK’s leading female data science professionals

An academic from The University of Manchester has been recognised as one of the nation’s leading female data science professionals, after being named as one of Women in Data UK’s ‘20 in 20’.

Jackie Carter, Professor of Statistical Literacy in the University’s School of Social Sciences, has been acknowledged for her technical knowledge and experience, and her commitment to encouraging more diverse representation in the data industry.

Previous people recognised by Women in Data have co-created the Oyster card and the algorithms for the Amazon Alexa, and shaped the future for solving the causes of dementia. There are now 80 committed advocates working hard to highlight the fantastic opportunities in STEM, to help girls expand their career choices as well as to encourage current practitioners to set their goals even higher.

Whilst at The University of Manchester Jackie has helped secure £1.3m of funding, and has developed a living-wage paid work-placement programme through the Q-Step Centre. She is Co-Director of the centre, which was developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates.

Jackie’s recently published book Work Placements, Internships & Applied Social Research draws on her seven years’ experience of setting up and running this paid internship programme. Using up-to-date reports from the British Academy, LinkedIn and McKinsey, the book presents frameworks and tools to help learners understand how their degree has relevance to the workplace, and how this can be evidenced. It is full of case studies and narratives based on her former students and others.

She is also on the board of the Urban Big Data Centre, providing advice on the role of social science in understanding how big data can be used to improve lives, and advising on how future data scientists can be trained to develop the necessary skills to equip them in these emerging careers.

“I’m absolutely delighted to win this award, but I think it reflects the wonderful young women I work with more than anything, and how together we are challenging traditional pipelines into data careers,” said Jackie. “Women can be data analysts and data scientists, and the award recognises the work I am doing in trying to address that – almost 70% of my interns are female.”

I have been in this space long enough to experience, and witness, the barriers that can prevent women reaching their potential. Those women who have caring responsibilities need flexible working and affordable care services. We need more ‘real models’, not just role models – women like us who show what is possible. We need women in positions of power and influence who can drive the change, and we need to address the narrative of why there is so much gender bias in the industry – we need open, honest and transparent conversations about how women can overcome the barriers.
Professor Jackie Carter

“Twenty in Data and Technology was created to showcase women in these sectors for their success, innovation, leadership or courage. Jackie is a true ambassador who is a visible example to inspire women at all stages of their careers,” said Roisin McCarthy, Founder and Payal Jain, Chair of Women in Data. “This is the fourth collection of the Twenty. Our ambassadors are working actively as mentors, sharing experiences in peer groups, advising in schools, and publishing content to promote the exciting careers in Data and Technology.”

“Read Jackie's story and reflect on who you could nominate for the Twenty campaign in the future in order to grow our global community, create change in our workplaces and opportunities for the next.”

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