Sehaj Gill

DDP Intern

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and how you began working with Dance Data Project®.
I am a high school sophomore from the Detroit Metro area. I am naturally inquisitive and always try to challenge myself in the pursuit of learning new skills. I hold a micro-bachelors in Computer Science from NYU. I also recently completed a college level advanced statistics course. I aspire to make positive changes for social justice issues and constantly look for opportunities to improve our community.

I was introduced to DDP’s mission after my dad shared a conversation he had with his colleague, Mr. Andrew Hoekstra, about the lack of women in leadership positions in the dance industry. Anecdotally, I believed that the dance field is dominated by women, so I initially was a little skeptical. However, I soon found that women are underrepresented in leadership positions within the industry. I felt this needs to change.

Currently, I am a research intern at DDP. At work, I use my strengths in qualitative and quantitative analyses to create conclusions that enable data driven decision making. DDP offers a great platform for change where I can make meaningful contributions using my abilities.

What are some of your other interests or hobbies?
Outside of working for DDP, I love playing tennis and am part of my high school’s tennis team. Over the past few years, I have also competed in several debate competitions. I play the flute and piccolo in my school’s marching and symphony bands, as well. I enjoy studying computer science. This summer, I am doing a deep dive into Python programming’s applications in AI. I also tutor high school and middle school students for math and science. Later this month, I plan on participating in the University of Michigan’s Math and Science Scholar program.

What kind of work do you do as part of the DDP team?
I serve as a research intern at DDP. I research a variety of public and private data sources such as codes of conduct, policies, and indices to identify common trends, gaps, and benchmarks. I summarize the findings to assist with the Gender Equity Index development and the Resources webpage updates.

What do you enjoy most about working with DDP?
At DDP, I feel that I am part of something important and believe that my contributions are helping to bring about positive changes. I also enjoy working with a team composed of incredibly talented individuals. I feel that this role perfectly combines my aspirations and skills!

Tell us about how you recruited your dad, Preet Gill, for DDP’s Advisory Council.
After I started to work at DDP, I felt my dad could also contribute his expertise to the various projects that the team works on. DDP’s mission aligns well with his other activities related to D&I (Diversity and Inclusion). I convinced him by showing him a digital whiteboard that outlined my research highlighting the lack of female leaders within the dance industry.

You’ve been helping put together our upcoming Gender Equity Index. What have you been doing for this project and how is it coming along so far?
The Gender Equity Index (GEI) will be an incredible tool that can help companies establish benchmarks and promote transparency. The GEI will inform patrons, investors, and other stakeholders about gender equity in the dance field. For this project, I have researched several gender related indices and documentation published by non-profits and governmental agencies to identify common themes. I have also looked at several public resources to identify important features of codes of conduct, harassment policies, and other transparency documents. Thus far, it has been fantastic. I believe DDP will successfully launch the GEI in the near future.