Observed each year on March 8, International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social progress that women have made in the past but also to draw attention to the injustices and discrimination that still exists throughout our world.

In places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday. The event has been observed since the early 1900s, which was a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Statistics2013 is a worldwide initiative that is highlighting the contributions of the statistical sciences to finding solutions to global challenges. The department of Statistics is a Statistics2013 participating organization.

We salute the world’s women this International Women’s Day

Like their counterparts in other professional fields, women pioneers in the statistical sciences have made outstanding and trailblazing contributions to their profession and have opened the field to more women.

"We salute the world’s women this International Women’s Day—a special day dedicated to them and their achievements past, present and future", says Gebrenegus Ghilagaber, head of the department. "The statistical sciences profession and our global society has greatly benefited from the groundbreaking contributions of women statisticians including Florence Nightingale, who used statistics to modernize health care; Dr. Janet Lane-Claypon, who made several important contributions to epidemiology by using and improving its use of statistics; and Janet Norwood, who as the first woman commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics made major contributions to government statistics"

Women statisticians are influential in many countries

Today, the number of women among mathematicians and statisticians equals the number of men, says a U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey report. Further, women statisticians are influential in many countries—41 of the world’s 190 statistical offices were headed by women in 2010, says The World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics, a report commissioned by the United Nations. Lastly, women have earned more than 40% of math and statistics bachelor’s degrees throughout the past four decades.

Highlight the important contributions of women statisticians

In honor of women worldwide, today and through the weekend on its website (www.statistics2013.org) Statistics 2013 features the International Women’s Day logo as well as several special articles and items that highlight the important contributions of women statisticians, including:

The goals of Statistics2013

The goals of Statistics2013 are to increase public understanding of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society and to nurture statistics as a profession among high-school and college students. Participants include national and international professional societies, universities, schools, businesses, government agencies and research institutes. These groups are educating millions of people about the contributions of the statistical sciences through seminars, workshops and outreach to the media.