CHANGEMAKERS: Increasing diversity in data science careers

The CHANGEMAKERS initiative aims to break down stereotypes and highlights the excellent opportunities available to young women in technology-related careers. Last summer, over an exciting four days of skills development, inspiring seminars and industry insights, this initiative allowed teams of young women from across different schools in Bristol to come together and develop tech solutions to support social and ecological campaigns.

We are living in challenging times, many schools are dealing with budgets cuts for careers advice work. Newly created jobs are difficult to illustrate to young people because they simply didn’t exist a few years ago. Due to curriculum and budget constraints often schools aren’t able to depict the breadth of skills that students will need for the careers of the future.

We believe that universities and their partners have a duty to fill some of these educational gaps. We have a mission to reach out to students from all backgrounds, to show them that they can be part of the technological data-driven revolution, and more importantly that their voices are valued and there is a place for them at the table. This initiative aims to create a diverse talent pipeline in the tech industry by inspiring future generations, particularly females, by showing how this career path can have a positive impact on the world around them.

Dr Elena Hensinger
Data Scientist

This programme not only includes programming and project management skills training, but importantly it allows interactions with women already working in the tech industry, sharing their stories and career paths. One of the first champions of this initiative is Dr Elena Hensinger, ex Bristol alumni, who enjoys sharing her passion for Data Science, having done so with the programme participants who were able to ask and receive career advice.

The project was developed by the Jean Golding Institute, in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering Outreach team, and a group of Bristol-based women working in the tech industry. The first event took place in July 2019 and was funded by the Alan Turing Institute. It will now become a yearly event delivered by the Faculty of Engineering Outreach team. If you are interested in participating or you would like to become a mentor please email