AI Podcast: Margot Gerritsen’s Got Binders Full of Women in Data Science — and She’s Serious

by Lauren Finkle

This week’s AI Podcast guest is a renaissance woman with a special passion for data science.

Margot Gerritsen is senior associate dean for educational affairs and professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford University. She’s the co-founder and co-director of the organization Women in Data Science (WiDS). And she’s the host of the WiDS podcast.

Gerritsen spoke to AI Podcast host Noah Kravitz about WiDS, the projects she’s overseeing at Stanford, and what she’s excited about in the current era of data science: the democratization of data.

Gerritsen sees today’s vast quantities of data, open source code and computational power as a “perfect storm” for groundbreaking analytical work.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The idea for WiDS was born during a conversation at Stanford’s Coupa Cafe, in which Gerritsen lamented the lack of female speakers at technology conferences and was inspired to take action.
  • WiDS hosted its major technical conference at Stanford earlier this month. Conference sessions are available to watch for free. This event is traditionally followed by a series of over 150 regional events across the world through the month of March.
  • For more, tune into Professor Gerritsen’s Women in Data Science podcast.


“We wanted to create binders of women in data science so that we could help promote them, and that’s a very serious thing because we want to make sure that these women who are making outstanding contributions are being seen, and listened to.” — Margot Gerritsen [3:23]

“You know, when you can use your data skills and your modeling and simulation skills to come up with better policies — that’s the golden spot. That’s the best place to be.” — Margot Gerritsen [30:50]

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