Women in Sports and Tech Spotlight - Maddy Anthonisen
Tell us about your journey into Hockey Analytics?
This is my first job out of school. I came from a physics background. I’ve always liked math and towards the end of my degree, I became increasingly interested in what algorithms and analytics can capture about human behavior and decision-making. Sports analytics is a very exciting field to explore this because we can quantify aligning incentives. My journey into analytics is very much beginning--there’s so much to learn!
How are women changing the Sports Analytics Community and the Sports Industry?
There’s a lot of really impressive and pioneering work being done by women in analytics (shoutout to Karell!) but the Sports Analytics Community, like the tech industry and STEM fields, needs more women and especially more women who are also BIPOC. For the growth and evolution of any industry, a diversity of perspectives is essential.
What has your experience been in the Sports/Tech industry so far?
So far my own experience has been amazing. Sportlogiq emphasizes teamwork and I’m lucky to be on a great team. They’ve been really supportive and have so much knowledge to share. The work itself is a lot of fun, there’s been a steep learning curve for sure but I feel fortunate to cut my teeth on very cool data.
What are the personal and professional goals that you’d like to accomplish during your time at Sportlogiq?
It’s my personal goal to bulk up on the skills that are the bread and butter of analytics--from the technical and programming skills to the domain knowledge that comes from being familiar with hockey. Once I accomplish this I want to apply knowledge from my physics background. Physics has a lot of machinery for dealing with complex systems of interacting agents and I think there are some exciting ways to look at analytics in this framework.
What advice would you give to other women looking to work in Sports Analytics?
This question brings up two thoughts for me. First, the advice that I would give to those like myself who hold white privilege is to seek out opportunities to engage with antiracism work and education in order to foster an inclusive environment so that everyone will be motivated to join the Sports Analytics Community.
The second thing I would comment on is that there is a gender imbalance in analytics. Sadly, this reflects a gender imbalance that starts much earlier when young women/girls are discouraged from entering into STEM fields at the university and even the high school level. Studies have shown that the most successful method to counteract this trend is by simply naming it. Having a conversation with a prospective student about the fact that there is an imbalance and that this imbalance is not because a person’s gender makes them unable to be successful in that field is very important.
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