How to Get More Women to Scale Up in the AI Industry

It is society’s role to ensure that all women are given equal opportunities to grow in this new age workforce

AI industry is one of the fields in which women can experience tremendous success, especially with the right push towards female participation in the industry. Women are a necessary force that organizations must integrate in order to accelerate the AI maturity of enterprises. In specific, a heavy emphasis on the female workforce within the artificial intelligence setting can help alleviate some of the biggest problems that enterprises face in the eyes of machine learning technologies, such as selection bias. Therefore, in order for organizations to achieve the highest AI maturity levels, it is necessary to mobilize women on a mass scale and include them as part of all enterprise endeavors in artificial intelligence, from research to product launch.

The above remarks indicate that there has been a global push to involve more women in science and technology careers. One of the more effective ways to address bias in AI is to engage diverse teams throughout the process. Diversity means including a variety of perspectives from different ethnicities, genders, ages, skills and experiences in the teams developing AI industry. Such diversity can enable AI teams to develop more products that can have a positive impact on a wider audience of users.

The current situation, how to combat it, and ends with several recommendations that seek to accelerate progress for all women in STEM, AI industry and data science. The mass mobilization of women in STEM careers is the secret that will unleash the fullest potential of our technological abilities, as well as the grand capacities that our digital world has to offer. Without females, this global mission is destined to fail.

Gaps and challenges in STEM, AI and data science

What is keeping women out of STEM and STEM related occupations? A number of factors must be considered when attempting to answer this question. Let’s break these elements down first, and then briefly go over each one in more depth in order to understand the crux of the matter.

Organizations which understand the importance of women to AI enterprise maturity levels

Women make up a fraction of the artificial intelligence workforce, whether in the form of research and development or as employees at technology inclined firms. The diverse teams, and especially those that emphasize women at their epi-center, are a necessary provision for enterprises to adopt in order to build, realize and accelerate enterprise AI maturity levels. At present moment, unfortunately, few enterprises understand the criticality of women to boost AI maturity levels.

 STEM, data science and AI fields experience a lack of female role models

Without female role models for girls to look up to, it becomes difficult for young women to envision future careers in science, technology and engineering fields. In fact, a 2018 Microsoft survey shows that female STEM role models boost the interest of girls in STEM careers from 32 percent to 52 percent. Therefore, it is imperative that we showcase the achievements of women in the sciences and engineering across the world to capture the attention of females everywhere.

Women in STEM, data science and AI face a male-dominated culture and are seen as inferior

One of the biggest pressures that females face in STEM careers is cutthroat competition amongst male counterparts, and the toxic workplace culture that it creates, three-fourths of female scientists support one another in their workplace to ease tensions. Moreover, women are likely to be demoted as inferior by men holding equivalent positions, whether those jobs are in engineering, data science or AI Industry. All of these factors contribute to females swiftly dismissing STEM jobs in order to avoid such disquieting workplace circumstances.

Mobilizing AI to help close the gender gap

Utilizing AI to solve the problem of the gender gap is a feasible and necessary solution. To elaborate, machine learning technologies can help employers assess candidates based on skills rather than gender, and talent-based qualification assessments have the potential to ameliorate bias in the selection/recruitment process, thus vastly benefiting women. Moreover, involving more females in STEM, AI Industry and data science is vital to eliminating biased algorithms, which can also help address the gender gap. Ultimately, less bias in the workplace will lead to more females entering the STEM workforce, and can help boost retention rates.

The following list provides feasible and implementable efforts and campaigns that can be mobilized to further the female cause in science, technology, engineering, data science and AI.

An enterprise paradigm shift that recognizes females as central to upholding AI maturity levels:

Numerous studies have shown that diverse teams are necessary in order to reduce junk data and biased outcomes propagated by machine learning algorithms, as well as to improve overall technological efficiency of enterprise artificial intelligence capacities. Moreover, the easiest way to incorporate this diversity is to tap into the mass pool of women in the globe, and channel them towards artificial intelligence fields via a concerted effort that is enacted by top organizations of the world, such as IBM, Microsoft and the likes. These companies can then serve as industry role models in getting other enterprises to emphasize women in artificial intelligence, and will serve as a necessary and important catalyst for an overall paradigm shift that crowns woman as central to harnessing the fullest potential of enterprise AI maturity levels.

Implementing reskilling/upskilling initiatives for women:

However, by 2022, it is estimated that over 50% of employees will need to be reskilled. Taking the first step towards implementing reskilling/upskilling initiatives for women will not only make the shift towards digital better and easier for all, but it will significantly benefit and encourage women to pursue STEM, AI and data science related positions.

Taking advantage of reskilling campaigns:

By taking the first steps of launching reskilling/upskilling campaigns specifically engineered for women, the STEM, data science and AI workforce will see a significant increase in labor force participation due to more female engagement, and will actually help accelerate progress in science and technology at a potentially unprecedented scale.

Launching STEM/AI awareness:

Campaigns specifically meant to educate women about the benefits and impact of a career in sciences and engineering.

Creating special science and technology:

Tracks for girls that are designed to favor the learning patterns of young women and to get girls interested in STEM from a young age, beginning in primary school.

Realizing a skills-based future:

Understanding that the future of the economy and the digital world lies in skill and talent, and not in static degrees and hierarchical structure that have tended to favor men in corporate positions for decades.

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