Artificial Intelligence. It’s dominating headlines and conversations while stoking the flames of fear for many people, especially women. What should we make of all this?
The narrative (and reality) is that women are especially at risk of AI’s unknown potential. This is nothing new: from the Stone Age to the present day, men have enjoyed disproportionate benefits during some of humanity's biggest leaps. As we enter the AI Age following the Information Age, concerns are being raised about women falling behind.
However, I believe that this time presents us with a unique opportunity for women to lead. By leveraging existing strengths and upskilling strategically, women can harness the vast opportunities and economic power that emerge in the AI age.
A 2020 UN study
states, “Women’s full and equal participation in all facets of society is a fundamental human right. Yet, around the world, from politics to entertainment to the workplace, women and girls are largely underrepresented.”
As mentioned before, the story we’re being told is that women will undoubtedly fall behind as AI ramps up. AI has the potential to perpetuate these imbalances, but it also provides an opening for change and empowerment (please read that again).
It’s crucial to anticipate how the AI landscape will evolve. According to a 2023 PWC study
, global GDP will be up 14% higher in 2030 due to the accelerating development and take-up of AI – the equivalent of an additional $15.7 trillion.
By recognizing this, women can proactively prepare and adapt. Moreover, our natural abilities, such as emotional intelligence, empathy, and multitasking, can become invaluable assets in an AI-driven world where human-machine interactions are increasingly vital.
In Forbes, Kate Levchuk
shares, “The inherent presence of empathy and collaboration skills makes women perfectly positioned to navigate the complex post-industrial world.” Collaborative skills, adaptability, and intuition are some inherent strengths that we women can leverage to thrive and lead. Our ability to navigate complex social dynamics and build strong relationships will be instrumental in shaping AI technology and its ethical considerations.
Leaning into our growth mindset and actively upskilling will accelerate our ability to thrive even in uncertainty. Investing in education and training programs focused on AI, machine learning, and data analysis will equip us with the necessary technical skills. Microsoft’s Myladie Stoumbou asks a powerful question
“AI potential globally is estimated to reach 1.5-3 trillion dollars in the next ten years. Why should it deprive women of the chance to flourish in the digital age?
Women can break the cycle of disproportionate benefits that we have experienced over the history of mankind. By anticipating the evolving landscape, leveraging our inherent strengths, and upskilling strategically, we can keep pace and lead the way in shaping the future of AI. We don’t have to participate in the narrative we’re being told; instead, we can write our side of the story.