Women are only a fraction of those working in STEM fields. In recognising this, dLab runs various programs in partnership to create a rich pipeline of women with data knowledge and skills. The Women in Data Science Conference (WiDS) was founded in 2015 by two Stanford Professors, Margot Gerritsen and Karen Matthys, on noticing that fewer women than men applied for STEM related degrees
dLab organised the first WiDS Conference in Dar es Salaam in December 2019, and over 200 people participated. The goal of the program is to ensure that young women have necessary skills to climb the ladder towards decision making positions. In 2020, dLab launched a “women in tech database” to create a network of women in STEM fileds. More than 120 women registered during WiDS 2020.
dLab has continued hosting the WiDS conference, and in the midst of the pandemic, dLab collaborated with regional partners to hold a virtual WiDS conference in 2021. Over 200 participants, including 13 women data science speakers from 7 countries in Africa were in attendance.