Notice: While JavaScript is not essential for this website, your interaction with the content will be limited. Please turn JavaScript on for the full experience.

Nominee for 2022 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Reshama Shaikh

  • Previous Board Service: New Board Member
  • Employer: Data Umbrella
  • Other Affiliations: Data Umbrella: Founder and Director, PyLadies: New York City Chapter Organizers , Big Apple Py: Board Member
  • Nominee Statement:

      Introduction & Background

      My name is Reshama (she/her), and I live in New York City. I was born in India and moved to the United States when I was six. One of the benefits of straddling the East and West in culture, language and religion is that it provides an added global perspective to my life. This in turn impacts how I see the world and my place and contributions within it. And it is what makes me particularly passionate about open source and Python, because they connect the world in a positive way and are unconstrained by political or geographic boundaries.

      As a statistician, I began my career using SAS and Rstats, in the 90's. I have been using Python since 2012; the conversion from R/SAS to Python was both bumpy and irresistible, because python is so alluring.

      I have contributed extensively to the community, both in education and in supporting people from typically underrepresented groups. I also wrote the viral blog Why Women are Flourishing in the R Community But Lagging in Python, which was considered by many to be provocative, though by me it was an objective deep dive with statistical perspective into dimensions related to the R and Python communities.

      Community Award

      In 2019, I received the NumFOCUS 2019 Community Service Award >Reshama was selected to receive this award in acknowledgment of the strong positive impact she has had in diversifying the NumFOCUS community, particularly by focusing on the inclusion of more women. She served on the NumFOCUS Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Steering Committee from 2017-2019 and has exemplified leadership by producing thoughtful, thought-provoking, and data-driven blogs that challenge the community to look squarely at our diversity problem and take action to correct it. Reshama was also instrumental in developing open source contributing sprints as a partnership between scikit-learn and Women in Machine Learning and Data Science, in an effort to get more women involved in the machine learning community.

      Data Umbrella

      Data Umbrella (2019-present): Seeing a need for this, I founded a community for underrepresented persons in data science. I have built a wonderful team of contributors and within only 2.5 years (almost all during the pandemic), we have accomplished so much. We have organized 6 open source sprints for the scikit-learn and PyMC Python libraries and over 50 online events; our Data Umbrella YouTube channel has over 1.5K subscribers. Our open source contributing sessions have successfully focused on and included community contributors from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and other regions in the world. It's been incredibly gratifying seeing the Data Umbrella Impact around the world.

      Community Contributions

      Below is a subset of my community contributions.

      • New York City chapter of PyLadies: (2017-present) I have been a very active organizer to the NYC chapter for the past five years. The NYC chapter is the 3rd largest PyLadies chapter worldwide. I was instrumental in reviving a dormant chapter, mentoring new organizers and initiating the International Women's Day social media highlight campaigns in 2019 and 2020. I initiated and project managed the PyLadies Dashboard which provides an interface to easily access Meetup data which is beneficial for the community and the PSF. Another significant PyLadies contribution is my video and blog on the "2021 State of PyLadies" to celebrate this organization's 10-year anniversary.
      • Git Workshops: Between 2016 and 2020, I gave over 15 Git workshops to the community to alleviate the barrier that not having Git skills is to open source and career development.
      • JupyterCon 2020 Diversity Chair (Jan-Oct 2020). Through my research and experience in diversity and community work, I discovered and invited world-renowned researcher in racial justice and equity Tema Okun as a Keynote Speaker to this conference.
      • Women in Machine Learning & Data Science (WiMLDS): (2015-2020) Board Member, Global Leadership Team Member and New York City chapter organizer. I organized over 2 dozen events and 5 open source sprints in New York City, Nairobi and San Francisco.
      • Blogs: I have written dozens of blogs on topics related to Python, data science and diversity and inclusions. A number of my blogs have over 10K visits.
      • Open Source Sprints PyCon DE Keynote: 5 Years, 10 Sprints, a scikit-learn Open Source Journey; this keynote summarizes the trials, tribulations and joys of organizing a series of sprints, around the world.
      • NumFOCUS Diversity in Scientific Computing (DISC) Steering Committee 2017-2019
      • Community Talks: I've given a number of talks on Python, plotly, git and diversity over the years, many of which are available on the YouTube playlist.
      • Resources: have created commmunity resources on my website and GitHub with tutorials, blogs and documentation.
      • PSF CoC Workgroup: (2020-2021)
      • Partnership on AI, ABOUT ML Steering Committee: (2019-2020) Facial Recognition Workgroup
      • SciPy Data Driven Discoveries Track co-chair: (2019)
      • ICML Communications: (2016-present)
      • scikit-learn Contributor: (2016-present)
      • scikit-learm Contributing Team: (2020-present)
      • PyMC Contributing Team: (2022-present)


      • Have the PSF be more connected to the community.
      • Provide an avenue for the community to be connected to PSF for those folks who do not attend PyCon, like me (I have never attended a PyCon or SciPy).
      • Support underrepresented persons in the Python community.
      • Increase the global reach of the PSF.
      • Provide more Python resources for the community.
      • Increase open source literacy in the community.

      Education & Work Background

      • 10+ years experience as a biostatistician in the pharmaceutical industry
      • 5+ years as an independent consultant
      • experience teaching statistics, math, Git, Rstats
      • MS in Statistics, MBA in business

      More Information About My Work

      • Blog:
      • LinkedIn:
      • Twitter: (@reshamas)
      • GitHub:
      • YouTube:
      • Medium:
      • Google Scholar:
  • Nomination Statements:
    • Nomination by: Beryl Kanali

      I nominate Reshama to be elected to the PSF board because of the outstanding work she does to promote the growth of python programmers.

      Through her work in organizing events every month to organizing open source sprints, she makes impactful contributions to the python community. She also promotes diversity and inclusion through her organisation Data Umbrella, which is a community for the underrepresented in Data Science, Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence.

      She would be a great fit for PSF.