Significance Celebrates
Women in Statistics and Data Science

Women in statistics and data science are celebrated throughout the October issue of Significance, guest edited by Altea Lorenzo-Arribas and Sandra Alba. From pioneers of the past to modern-day heroines breaking down barriers in the 21st century, find out about some of the discipline’s key figures and explore new statistical ideas about how to build a fairer society.


The Female of the Species: Baboon Mothers and a Courageous Career Move
Lucy Cooke celebrates the “fiercely analytical mind” of Jeanne Altmann, whose statistical work in the 1960s rescued animal mothers from evolutionary obscurity.

A Place Where Women Thrived: UK Social Survey Official Statistics 
Women had a strong presence in the workforce of UK Social Survey Official Statistics from its inception. Joy Dobbs was part of a cohort of women recruited in the 1970s and 1980s as government survey statistics expanded. This cohort joined and enhanced an environment and culture that nurtured and developed female talent, including two women who became national statisticians.

Bayesian Networks Versus Gender Bias 
Gender-sensitive statistics can highlight gender gaps, but current measurement tools have serious limitations. Here, Fulvia Mecatti, Paola Vicard, Flaminia Musella, and Lorenzo Giammei explore how Bayesian networks could help improve the measurement, monitoring, and prediction of gender equality.

Gender Equity in Digital Health: AI as a Double‑Edged Sword 
Alyssa Columbus describes flaws in statistical methods used by digital health platforms, how these shortcomings could contribute to gender health disparities, and what can be done to minimize inequities.

‘They Are Not Alone’: Mentoring Women Graduate Students 
Women and other historically marginalized groups can feel out of place in advanced degree programs; mentoring can help. Here, Emily Griffith and Julia Sharp—both winners of the Outstanding Mentor Award from the ASA’s Statistical Consulting Section—show how.

Bot Out of Hell: Interview with Francesca Lawson 
Last International Women’s Day, the Twitter gender pay gap bot mined government data to sensationally unmask hypocritical employers. Its co-creator, Francesca Lawson, tells Altea Lorenzo-Arribas and Sandra Alba how it happened and why data is nothing without visibility.

‘We Are Still Not Done’: Interview with Tomi Mori 
Japanese biostatistician Motomi “Tomi” Mori is chair of the organizing committee of the inaugural International Day of Women in Statistics and Data Science on October 11, 2022, and served as the president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics last year. She speaks candidly to Altea Lorenzo-Arribas about her work and the challenges she has faced.

Profile: Violet Cane 
She ditched her PhD to help defeat the Nazis and is remembered as a kind teacher and funny friend. Here, Rob Gandy, Altea Lorenzo-Arribas, and Richard Startup celebrate the life and work of pioneering British statistician and professor Violet Cane.

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