Cause and Effective Communication

Warm greetings. Empathetic nods. Kindred experiences. Supportive words. These components defined the atmosphere of the 2016 Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference.

For three days, 400 women and men gathered to celebrate the contributions of women to the statistics and data science professions, and beyond. Most visibly, conference attendees experienced a variety of scheduled talks, keynote presentations, panel discussions, and poster sessions covering a wide range of interests and topics, as advertised. However, underneath the well-planned menu of daily offerings, another experience existed; one that was not promised or promoted in advance, but had no less impact on those in attendance.

Simply donning the orange conference lanyard created an experience of being swept up into a conversation with strangers, invited to lunch to exchange career stories, or prompted to continue the discussion started in a session, regardless of age, profession, or experience level. Over those few short days, a feeling of community was established and new lines of networking and communication opened up, accompanied by an overwhelming sense that there was so much more to come and still work to be done.

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