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Unleashing the Power of Diversity in STEM Hero Image
The Importance of Women in Marketing Sciences

Unleashing the Power of Diversity in STEM


In honor of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are talking to Mikaela Priest, Data Scientist in KS&R’s Marketing Sciences Group, to learn about her journey in the field and the valuable insights she’s gained through her work exploring human behavior through quantitative analysis. Mikaela also shares valuable advice for younger females considering a career in STEM and highlights the importance of having a diverse representation in the field.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Marketing Sciences?

My background is in Cognitive Psychology and Statistics, so I’ve always loved exploring the ways in which numbers can tell a story about our behavior. In fact, my graduate studies centered around the gender disparity in STEM fields and the many mechanisms contributing to the gender gap we continue to see in these disciplines. The role of Data Scientist in the Marketing Sciences group was a great fit for me—every day I’m able to learn more about human preferences and attitudes through quantitative research and analysis. I’m proud to be among a small, but growing, percentage of female Data Scientists!

What advice would you share with young women interested in pursuing a career in STEM fields?

If you are a young woman who is interested in pursuing a career in STEM, my advice to you would be to not be discouraged if you find yourself as the only woman in the room. In fact, this can be seen as an opportunity for you to be a pioneer and make a difference in promoting diversity within the field. Your unique perspective and opinions as a female scientist will be valuable assets that will benefit everyone in the room.

Why is it important to increase the representation of women in STEM fields?

The under-representation of women in STEM fields can have a significant impact on the innovations that come out of these fields. Many STEM disciplines are male dominated, and as a result, many of the solutions that are developed tend to cater to men as the default (the history of the seat-belt design is a prime example of this phenomenon). When there is more diversity in the field, it leads to solutions that are more inclusive and have a wider reach and impact, rather than being limited to just one demographic.