An Incomplete List of Females in Data Visualization

I rewrote this post 4 times, in an effort to give it a calm and professional tone. And then I thought “Ah fuck it, this is my blog and I can say whatever I want.” I’m writing this post because I just listened to an interview about data visualization. It took place among 4 men who were positioned around the globe and lasted over an hour. In that time, I didn’t hear them mention even one woman. In the references they posted, only men were listed. This post is to point attention to the awesome women in data visualization, not just out there kicking ass, but going the extra distance to show others how its done.

Bloggers with Data Viz Instructions

Ann Emery  How-to instructions on dataviz best practices, coauthor of the Data Visualization Checklist, and video guides on Excel formulas

Angela Zoss So happy someone pointed me to this blog

Russian Sphinx Tableau tutorials and more

Anya A’Hearn Screenshots of how to pull together an array of tools to create powerful viz

Cole Nussbaumer Preaching the best practices, right within Excel, with downloadable template to boot

Bloggers with Data Viz Advice

Lynn Cherny  She codes but her blog posts are not so much about that, rather they are excellent, thoughtful reads, including this one on starting to freelance your data viz skills

Tiffany Farrant  Considerate analysis of dataviz and a monthly roundup of the cool stuff in the field, working in Illustrator

Jen Underwood Business intelligence dataviz, across several platforms

Naomi Robbins Blogging for Forbes

Jen Stirrup Writing about big data, business intelligence, and SQL (so I don’t understand half of it but the other half is awesome)

Kelly Martin Sweet Tableau advice

Caroline Ziemkiewicz Not a blogger, but published a super important paper with Robert Kosara

Andee Kaplan Teaching & blogging on dataviz with R

Designers with Inspirational Portfolios

Jen Christiansen  Mainly scientific viz, lots of sankey, dot plots, inspiration

Hillary Mason  What you can do with code

Rachel Binx  Oh look at that coding skill!

Heather Krause  Infographics, the good kind

Kim Rees  Interactive dataviz central!

Meli Lewis Data scientist at Periscopic

Jane Pong  Elegant infographics, made without code

Kristina Szucs  Beautiful interactive displays, made me drool

Stefanie Posavec  Intricate, complex,  hand-made dataviz

Maral Pourkazemi Gorgeous infographics, full of graphs and none of that useless bullshit

Laura Kurgan Leading the Spatial Information Design Lab, kicking ass, taking names

Anna Powell-Smith She’s the one that made that awesome viz on dress sizes that made me want to buy a sewing machine

Iskra Velitchkova Making beautiful work at Mapacino

Kat Greenbrook Finalist in Information is Beautiful infographic contest

Uta Hinrichs Data + art in an understandable and accessible way

Isabel Meirelles Writing  and research too!

Mirjam Leunissen Running Dutch Data Design

Fernanda Viegas Wow!

Putting Dataviz in the News

Lena Groeger  ProPublica

Sisi Wei ProPublica

Kennedy Elliott Washington Post

Kat Downs Mulder Washington Post

Darla Cameron Washington Post

Emily Chow Washington Post

Katie Park Washington Post

Hannah Fairfield New York Times

Amanda Cox  New York Times

Alicia Parlapiano New York Times

Haeyoun Park New York Times

Alicia DeSantis New York Times

Jennifer Daniel New York Times

Alexis Lloyd  New York Times (R+D Lab)

Sarah Slobin Wall Street Journal

Rani Molla Wall Street Journal

Lisa Strausfeld Bloomberg

Soo Oh Chronicle Data

Lam Thuy Vo Al Jazeera

Joanna Kao Al Jazeera

Katie Peek Popular Science

Michelle Minkoff Associated Press

Kaeti Hinck MinnPost

Kelly Shea Seattle Times

Marianne Bouchart Bloomberg

Heather Billings Chicago Tribune

Speaking/Teaching on Dataviz (in addition to those above)

Mico Yuk  and dashboards!

Giorgia Lupi  Slides and video for some talks available

Tamara Milosevic  Teaching at FDV

Petra Isenberg Publishing research on dataviz. Be still my heart.

Gaia Scagnetti Lovely viz and lots of teaching

Irene Ros Interactive datavis developer, blogger and teacher

Tamara Munzner Teaching, publishing, testing the viz world

Katy Borner Teaching and publishing, especially on maps and networks & leading IVMOOC

Dona Wong Wrote The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics

Cindy Royal Teaching at Texas State University

Julie Koesmarno Workshops on SQL

Cynthia Brewer Among other things, the brains behind my favorite site, ColorBrewer

Michelle Borkin Of that famous research study on what makes a viz memorable, plus other stuff of course

Sara Irina Fabrikant Heavy research on maps, etc.

Heike Hofmann Profing at Iowa State

Deborah Swayne Researching & publishing at AT&T labs

Dianne Cook Teaching/publishing.visualizing climate change (hell yes!)

Sheelagh Carpendale Rocking it out at the University of Calgary

Miriah Meyer Check the qualitative study on how designers design with data

Cyndey Neilsen Using dataviz to understand genomics & saving the freakin world

Susan McGregor Teaching at the Columbia Journalism School

Chrys Wu What isn’t she doing?

Jessica Hullman Speaking on design trade-offs in this cool video

Tweeting about Dataviz (in addition to those above)

Jen Lowe

Sarah Groff-Palermo

Emily Kund

Anita Lillie

That’s more than 50 females in dataviz. You can see them all in my Twitter list. And I’m sure there are many more I have missed. And if we start looking at related fields, like all the women in this geoviz list, or amazing people like my friend Kylie Hutchinson, who address dataviz in broader contexts, the list becomes massive. Which is why it’s increasingly frustrating that we are repeatedly left out of the old boys club.

So GOOD LORD how is it 2014 and one of my primary fields is so male-dominated that I still have to bring attention to badass females??? One day, I’m going to be able to delete this post because it will be obsolete.

37 Comments

  1. cathy cirina-chiu

    kylie hutchinson also has some good webinars that include DV

    to be honest, all of the dataviz people I follow are women. 😉

    1. Screw calm and professional. There’s nothing wrong with a point of view and a voice, and nonemotionality = professional is just an extension of masculinity = professional. This list is great, I’m going to learn so much!

  2. I just want to say that you are the bomb diggity in data visualization. Your research is the only I have seen that can help everyone do a better job communicating with their audience. Thanks for giving props to all the women out there in our field.

  3. Amen! Thanks for taking on this inequity Stephanie, and for bringing to our attention all of these knowledgeable women and their venues for sharing what they know.

  4. Great post! But you missed one: Stephanie Evergreen. Ever heard of her? She’s pretty damn awesome and has the wittiest blog posts. 🙂

  5. Go Stephanie! Sexism is still alive and well in all fields. Thank you for flying the flag for all the great women out there. And for your presentation here in Wellington, New Zesland yesterday…inspirational!

  6. You go girl!! I’m glad you didn’t go with your “calm and professional” rewrite. The raw language conveys your sincerity, passion, and energy. Next step – reach out to one or more of those interviewees and send them the link to this post!

  7. Absolutely spot-on! The world is still way too male dominated on platforms and public fora. And infuriatingly not only with data visualisation. Add yourself to all those lists please.

  8. Hi there, just to flag that we are two women Architects from South America that do some nice visualizations for social and economic development reports. So if you were missing a few reps from the “South” here we are – Carolina Rodriguez and Pauline Stockins.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you Stephanie for this and for all the work you’re sharing about data viz. Whoever those four men were, I’m willing to bet they aren’t nearly as helpful and generous – or as fun! – as you are!

    1. Stephanie Evergreen

      Ah, they are good chaps 🙂 Many of us have one form of privilege or another and it can be all too easy to forget about that privilege sometimes. I can say with confidence that this blog post has put gender back on their radar.

  10. Excellent, “calm and professional” can be overrated so thanks for being real. What an incredible list, looking forward to digging in!

  11. LOVE this so much! As a female in the evaluation and research field, I follow your blog – as well as Ann’s…however, I will certainly add a lot of these to my regular reading.
    Thanks for putting this together and being REAL!

    1. Stephanie Evergreen

      Absolutely! I thought about you, Elissa, and wasn’t sure where to draw the line around what is dataviz and what is infoviz. A larger conversation for sure, but your work still should be highlighted.

  12. I know you’ve written a book and taught workshops and published articles and founded a TIG and keynoted conferences around the world, but this is the most important piece you’ve ever written. Well done Stephanie!

  13. Stephanie — you go girl!! Tell it like it is without beating around the bush. Right on. And by the way, I bet there are thousands of us women behind the scenes using and implementing all these great dataviz techniques.

  14. I’m speaking on this topic at the Joint Statistical Meetings this summer together with Deb Nolan and Di Cook. I thought speaking about Women in Visualization would fit in with their talks and decided to feature a number of women whose research I admire. Then I found your list. I’m amazed. Every one of the people I am talking about is on your list, plus a whole lot of others. I’m going to proved a URL to your page. Thank you so much. Your web site is magnificent. (I also would like to nominate an advisee of mine who is now at Tableau, Anushka Anand.)

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