Shaping the future of Data Science at WiDS Stanford
The third edition of the Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference was recently hosted by the Institute for Computational Mathematics and Engineering (ICME) at Stanford University, USA. This year, Total sponsored the conference as an ‘innovation leader’, and several senior Total executives attended, including Research and Development (R&D) Competence Manager Mériam.
She explains why Total became involved: “Total is developing R&D partnerships with Stanford; last year we became an education affiliate of Stanford ICME, and we have a new fellowship support program in preparation.” So, what does Total hope to achieve from these relationships? “We want to attract top-tier talent in data science and create talent pipelines. We also hope to build new partnerships for technology, digital innovation and R&D.”
Reflecting on the significance of sponsoring the conference, Mériam said, “Total is strongly committed to gender balance through participating at this event and other initiatives like our TWICE (Total Women’s Initiative for Communication and Exchange) network. Also, data science is a key skill to develop for the future of Total. There are growing opportunities in this area, as well as in artificial intelligence and robotics (particularly in R&D), and we want to encourage women to get more involved in these fields.”
The high-profile WiDS meeting aimed to inspire, educate and support data scientists worldwide, and featured exclusively female speakers. Total participated in the speed networking sessions and met with ICME students to present Total’s R&D strategy and the range of opportunities available at the company. These include Visiting Researcher scholarships and internships in France, PhDs and Postdoctoral work in Total research centers or with other academic partners like MIT in the USA, Imperial College London and Ecole Polytechnique in France.