Ashley Scott – Data Girl Ash

by Terry Watson | July 19th, 2021
Ashley Scott

Ashley Scott

Initially, the plan for Ashley Scott was to to start a skincare company. She had even wrote a business plan and won pitch competitions, and expected to launch in early 2020. However, things took a turn in a different direction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When she realized she could supply the demand for remote learning and training materials, Ashley changed the framework of her business and focused on consulting. Now she has set her targets on working with data enthusiasts. 

Ashley Scott was born and raised in New York City, NY, and has roots in the Caribbean country of Jamaica. She was a first-generation college student in her family and has always been passionate about educating and helping people achieve their goals. One of the ways she was able to do that was by performing community service in hospitals and the Boys and Girls Club in her neighborhood. These acts of kindness allowed her to receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Barack Obama.

To attend college and excel while doing so was very important for Ashley. She was determined and made good on a promise to herself to break down walls that had adversely impacted her family and community.

“One of the most significant impacts on my life and career was learning how to navigate the college application process. As a first-generation college student, it often felt intimidating learning how to take college admission tests, writing admission and scholarship essays, and deciding on the best school with affordable tuition. At the time, an average of 20% of people who grew up in my community reported completing a four-year degree program and beyond. That wasn’t very promising, yet, despite the odds, I learned the importance of resilience and networking, which helped me make informed decisions about starting my professional career,” she shares.

While the journey was anything but smooth sailing, Ashley says it helped her learn how to thrive under pressure and help others along the way. “I love that I have the opportunity to candidly share unique ways to navigate career opportunities and support others to start their data career journey. Reflecting on my own experiences and remembering the many stories of others who aspired to get in the field but often felt discouraged to apply for data careers, motivates me. I hope to redefine the face of data careers through education and fashion by creating data-inspired apparel and accessories. I’m very grateful to be able to reach audiences globally, such as in Ireland and Canada, and represent aspiring and current Data Girls,” she says. Data Girl Ash also allocates a portion of proceeds to support other women-minority-owned businesses and its Data Girl Scholarship.

Currently, Ashley is a data professional at a renowned medical school in New York City, a career coach, and a motivational speaker. Additionally, she is a Woman in Data Science Ambassador on behalf of Stanford University, a member of The Recording Academy, and a NASA Solar System Ambassador. Her higher learning accomplishments are pretty impressive as well. She has obtained a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Managerial Analytics, both with honors.

With all that Ashley is involved with, she has managed to find time to run her own company, Data Girl Ash. launched in 2020, Data Girl Ash assists others by promoting data literacy through career coaching, teaching, professional presentations, and data-inspired apparel and accessories. “My passion is to empower unrepresented data enthusiasts with little to no technology experience. I also encourage my clients to pursue educational and career opportunities, and provide them with the confidence they need for this in-demand field,” she shares.

Ashley has over five years of experience working in various industries such as higher education, healthcare, and business consulting, so applying these skills sets and forming Data Girl Ash made sense. Some of the products Ashley offer are one on one career coaching, resume review, and online professional profile revamping. Each session is tailored specifically to each person, and Ashley creates strategic action plans for her clients, which assist with identifying career goals and preparation for successful interviews.

Despite increased job openings and growth areas in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, Ashley shares that research suggested there is a shortage of opportunities for people of color, especially women. After learning this, Ashley immediately went into action. She began by hosting several focus groups and virtual fireside chats. She learned that women in underserved communities, including hers, were not encouraged to pursue STEM careers, mainly due to a lack of role models in the field. She successfully applied what she learned by collaborating with global nonprofits and organizations, including Women in Data, BlackTIDES, FEM STEM Bahamas, and IBM Developer, in an effort to increase women’s awareness in the field and assist in creative strategy.

This all happened during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She shares the pandemic has positively impacted her business, and she’s even revamped its mission and purpose. For example, when she posted free data career change advice on social media, Ashley noticed an increase in activity from people requesting career coaching sessions and data educational resources. She’s also had the opportunity to partner with global nonprofits to assist in creative strategy, planning through research, and brainstorm participation for 9,000-plus members and volunteers in 25-plus locations, all who were interested in data careers.

In 2020, she launched the #DataGirl Social Media Campaign to discuss data career options for women and nonbinary individuals, which laid the foundation of her online platform and business, Data Girl Ash. “I started to share free educational resources about my experience transitioning into a data role without a technology background. This led me to share my expertise with people who expressed interest in landing a data career with a combination of education and fashion to promote the awareness of data careers,” she says.

Ashley says her for the future is to continue investing professionally and personally. “I strongly believe in the power of team building. Professionally, I plan to invest in more resources and tools to support business expansion, and encourage more people to pursue data careers and education. Personally, I plan to invest more time in my personal well-being to be the best version of myself, and become an advocate of change for members of my community.”

To learn more about Data Girl Ash, please visit their website.

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