Womxn in Big Data South Africa: Female-Headed Households in South Africa
$5,000 USD
A prediction challenge with prizes for the top three female data scientists
449 data scientists enrolled, 201 on the leaderboard
25 November 2019—24 February 2020
published 25 Nov 2019, 18:10

"This competition is open to anyone based anywhere of any gender, however, cash prizes will be awarded only to participants that are based in Africa (with a verified mailing address in Africa) and who are female (with an identification document that specifies gender). " What if a team comprises of a female based in africa do they get the prize.

Hi Eniola,

For a team to win a cash prize it needs to be all female. However, you can still enter and if you are in the top 10 you will be awarded points.

How is this not considered sexist? I am all for promoting tech orientated skills amongst both sexes, but to flat out deny awarding a cash prize to a participant based on their biology and not their performance comes across as discriminatory.

It's definitely discriminatory, just in the opposite direction to the way much of our field is discriminatory. Can we, just this once, in this competition focused on womxn, sponsored by Women in Big Data, maybe just cheer the women on?

Speaking personally, I'm pretty sure my biology (not my performance) could give me much more than a $2.5k advantage, and continue to do so for as long as sexist ideals linger in the space. So yay to things like this, which give us guys a *tiny* taste of what it's like to be handicapped by our chromosome collection :)

replying to Ivor
edited less than a minute later

Hi Ivor,

Thank you very much for sharing your views on this topic. We appreciate you for being a member of our community and for taking the time to comment. It’s not unusual for a female data scientist to be the only female on a project team. We often experience this ourselves. Like it or not, this scene occurs in countless boardrooms, offices, and labs all over the world, and this is a self-perpetuating reality. When work and education spaces are dominated so strongly by one particular group, many qualified people fall off, for reasons ranging from outright discrimination to just feeling that they don’t belong.

At Zindi, our mission is to make data science and AI accessible to everyone, because we believe that race, gender, or geography shouldn’t stop people from reaching their potential and helping make the world a little better. That’s why some of our competitions seem to favour certain groups, be it women, or Africans. It’s our way of trying to level the playing field, and bring everyone up together.

We appreciate that your views may not be the same as ours, and we’re sorry if you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly in this instance. We will always strive to promote our values of Diversity and Inclusivity in our competitions, at our events, and within our community. Our decision to award prizes in this competition only to women reflects our efforts to uphold these values.

We realize this can be a thorny issue and we won’t always get it right. Should you have any ideas about how we can do this better, please do get in touch at zindi@zindi.africa and we can talk more.