International Year of Statistics Praises Contributions of Women Statisticians on International Women's Day

Published March 8, 2013

Statistics 2013 participants laud women statisticians

The State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Biostatistics and the more than 1,775 organizations in 121 countries participating in the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013) today join women around the world in the celebration of International Women’s Day.

Observed each year on March 8, International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. 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 University at Buffalo is a Statistics2013 participating organization.

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 Dr. Alan D. Hutson, Chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the University at Buffalo. “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.”

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.

In honor of women worldwide, today and through the weekend on its website ( 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:

  • Blog posts written by members of the American Statistical Association’s Committee for Women in Statistics and the Caucus for Women in Statistics
  • A self-authored “Statistician Job of the Week” article by the Smithsonian Institution’s chief mathematical statistician, Dr. Lee-Ann Hayek
  • A “Statistic of the Day” focused on the influence of women worldwide
  • An insightful “Quote of the Day” from female trailblazing statistician Florence Nightingale
  • A “Statisticians in the News” article that profiles a prominent female statistician from Oregon State University
  • Links to profiles of several influential female statisticians from the past and present

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.

The founding organizations of Statistics2013 are the American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Biometric Society, International Statistical Institute (and the Bernoulli Society), and Royal Statistical Society.

About University at Buffalo, Department of Biostatistics

Our Department of Biostatistics unites statistical theories and methods with research to produce new knowledge and understanding of biological processes.  Recognized as one of the top 20 biostatistics programs in the country by U.S. News & World Reports, we offer accredited graduate programs leading to MPH, MA and PhD degrees, as well as an undergraduate minor in statistics. For additional information, please visit or call (716) 829-3690.

For more information:

Dr. Lili Tian, Graduate Director
Office: (716) 829-3690