Artificial Intelligence and Gender Parity

Artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating all aspects of life and profoundly altering how we communicate, collaborate, and consider. Through predictive, personalized, and optimized solutions, such as bettering people’s health, lowering carbon emissions, and boosting resistance against catastrophes, among other things, AI can change communities and enhance people’s quality of life.
But AI can also interfere with human rights, exacerbate disparity, and pose a threat to privacy through intrusive apps. However, the goals and minds behind the technology have a significant influence on how AI affects communities.

For AI to be comprehensive and advantageous for everyone, it is essential that different people—especially women—participate fairly.
The 8th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which falls on February 11th, offers an occasion to consider gender patterns and the representation of women in the AI sector.
India is in the best situation to advance international collaboration and influence the global policy on promoting gender equity in AI thanks to the G20 leadership and the focus on Nari Shakti.

How do women fare in the field of artificial intelligence?

Women make up only 22% of the AI population, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 from the World Economic Forum.
This prevents job advancement, perpetuates the female pay disparity, and limits the variety of views and experiences that are influencing the development of AI.
Women make up 43% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grads in India, which is greater than the majority of other industrialized countries.
However, there is still much work to be done in the workplace, as only 14% of STEM positions in India are held by women.
In addition, 81% of women in STEM experience gender prejudice in performance reviews throughout their professional lives.

Only 10-15% of AI experts at tech behemoths like Google and Facebook are women, and this imbalance is present in study as well.
A Nesta study revealed that only 13.83% of women are the authors of AI research papers.
According to studies, biased AI systems can worsen already-existing labor disparities and even damage underrepresented groups.

What are the issues with women being represented in AI?

Lack of Diversity in the Tech Industry: The tech sector has historically lacked diversity and female parity, and this is true even when it comes to AI.
Women are underrepresented in technical jobs, especially in leadership 3 posts, which leads to homogeneous viewpoints and a dearth of variety in decision-making.

Bias in AI systems: AI systems that are developed without taking into account the requirements and experiences of varied groups have the potential to propagate inequality and discrimination.
As an illustration, gendered names and accents of AI robots that respond to customer instructions already reinforce unjust gender stereotypes.
Due to the biased training data, facial recognition systems have demonstrated a greater error rate when recognizing women and persons of color.
Women’s credit scores are being unfairly assessed by AI systems that are gender-blind. Women’s employment applications have been routinely excluded by biased AI hiring tools.

Stereotyping and Gender Bias at Work: Women in AI may experience gender bias and stereotyping at work, which can hinder their professional growth and constrict their chances for advancement.
This may also be a factor in the dearth of female executives in the AI industry.

4 Work-Life Balance Challenges: Women may experience extra difficulties striking a balance between their professional and personal lives, especially in high-stakes technological areas like AI, which can hinder their ability to advance professionally and participate in the industry.

What related actions have been taken?
The KIRAN Scheme, which was introduced in 2014–15, offers female academics the chance to advance in their scholastic and leadership careers.
India’s National AI Strategy emphasizes inclusivity and champions the concept of #AIFORALL.
Telangana has already educated more than 5,000 girls as part of this initiative, which seeks to teach 100,000 students in AI and data science with an emphasis on females from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Three rural data marking centers in the State of Telangana are also training and employing rural women.
The government also pushed We-Hub, a Hyderabad-based incubator for female entrepreneurs that has taught data science and artificial intelligence to more than 700 females between the ages of 13 and 17.

What can be done to boost women’s representation?

The private sector’s role is to accelerate efforts and expenditures to provide chances for women and girls in order to solve the gender gap in AI.
Private sector should act fast by promoting
leadership positions for women in AI, having
equal number of women participating in panel
discussions, ending gender pay gap, providing
mentorship and networking opportunities,
prioritising recruitments of young women from
diverse backgrounds in AI roles, invest in
entrepreneurship and research led by women in
AI, promoting AI competencies among girls and
women, and facilitating women from
multidisciplinary backgrounds to participate in
the AI revolution.

Boosting Skills Development Programmes:
Governments and educational institutions can
play a crucial role by investing and executing
programmes that boost the participation of
women in AI such as skills development
programmes in AI designed for women,
scholarships, research grants, and internships.
The media can also help spread the word and encourage the accurate portrayal of women in AI.

Driving Forces for Global Cooperation:
Promoting female diversity and representation in the area of artificial intelligence requires international collaboration. (AI).
A few strategies for encouraging such collaboration include:
Raising understanding of the value of female diversity in artificial intelligence
Promoting worldwide cooperation between businesses, research institutions, and academic institutions engaged in AI
Establishing networks among those working in the area of AI and exchanging resources like data sets, study results, and educational materials
Assisting women who want to work in artificial intelligence

Facilitating Role in Non-Technical Roles: Women can absolutely work in non-technical positions in the field of artificial intelligence, including those in project management, business development, marketing, ethics, administration, and sales.
These positions frequently call for excellent organizational and communication abilities as well as the capacity to comprehend and convey complicated technical ideas to stakeholders who are not technical.
Women bring a variety of viewpoints and experiences to the table and can contribute significantly in these non-technical positions to the area of AI.