Artificial Intelligence as a limiter of the gender gap

• It is no surprise to anyone; the inequality of job opportunities and salary horizons is a reality that threatens the female union, without giving room for greater opportunities for improvement. Today new technologies offer us new hope.

As we are immersed in a profound digital transformation, it is clear to see that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and all its implications are here to stay. It is a technology sector that does not skimp on continuing to grow, with an unstoppable influence on everyday life.

It is a Revolution in every sense of the word. Today we can see it, in addition to advancing relentlessly, destabilizing archaic labor parameters and the gender gap, which we have seen established for years.

According to a 2018 study by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the employment rate that evaluates the job offer reflects that women registered a rate of 45 percent, while that of men was located more twenty points higher, at sixty-eight percent.

The turn of a new era

It is not news that there are certain jobs that will eventually need to be reinvented, just as there are others that will be enhanced, and others that, undeniably, will not survive. To all this, we must adapt and be resilient, to usher in a new era.

But beyond, of those who will gradually leave their mark, it is not wrong to approach this advance as a new horizon of job opportunities, who have great hope in new technologies. Not only so that they take their place as a true gender gap bridger, but they can also be more inclusive, in many areas that today are not, and that have parameters delineated with such rigidity that we do not see borders beyond their limits margins.

Regarding the reduction of the gender gap, we were able to extrapolate ourselves beyond the immediate present of Artificial Intelligence, and its contiguous scope, it is a topic worth analyzing. Thanks to new technologies, domestic work could be automated on a large scale, alleviating the work of thousands of women, who today have that burden, in addition to their work, so that they can incorporate their skills into the formal economy.

All that workforce, sometimes unfairly asleep, is potentially redeemable by new technologies, to accommodate them and truly redefine flexible work, thanks to so many automations that AI offers us, and that would indirectly allow us to reduce the gender gap, in a circumstantial way.

Thus, small, medium and large companies have today and will have in the present future, the opportunity to examine the evaluation of roles driven by results rather than presence. If we manage to put this tool to good use, we will be able to show more consistent flexible work patterns, in which work with a greater gender balance predominates.

If we add to this that this revolution brings with it a true phenomenon of continuous training of personnel, to add witnesses in the true, legitimate, and potential functionality of AI, we see another great opportunity for women.

If we go back to who was the first person, it is to recognize that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and that the first algorithm destined to be carried out by that machine was published, it was precisely a woman.

Augusta Ada King, an English writer and mathematician, recognized for her pioneering work on the general-purpose mechanical computer, is considered to be the first person to realize the full potential of computers and position her place as a programmer.

She opened the field to thousands of women who were interested in technology and its overwhelming functionalities, so that, with the characterized patience and neatness of a woman, they were carried out with the same harmony that today are rethought and recalculated.

Furthermore, we can conclude that women were undeniably present among the first female programmers in the early 20th century and contributed on a large scale to the rise of the industry.

Grace Hopper is another great example of the tenacity of the female gender in the area of ​​programming. She is remembered as the first person, not only a woman, to design a compiler for a programming language, as well as driving various validation methods.

Hopper credited the idea of ​​programming languages ​​independently of the machine, eventually leading to the development of COBOL, a programming language of the highest quality, and continuing at that.

However, as technology and its practices took different paths, the role of women as programmers has diminished, as has the importance of their achievements, without any credible explanation.

After the sixties, and without any certain antecedent, there was a significant decrease in female participation in the field, although many attribute this to the conversion of modern software. Since then, we have witnessed this gender gap.

According to a study by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), evidence that, despite the growing influence of AI in all commercial areas, women make up only twelve percent of researchers in this field.

However, there are many women who continue to promote enormous contributions to the information technology industry. A great example of that is Alicia Asín, a Spanish expert in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IOT) and Big Data.

In 2018, Asín received the “Innovative Women of the European Union (EU)” award for her outstanding work in front of the Internet of Things branch. Currently, she is the co-founder and CEO of Libelium, a company with fifteen years of experience in the market.

Thus, AI presents a world of opportunities for those women who are interested in the field, and stand out as eventual pioneers of new technologies. In the world there are an infinity of spaces to enter them, as well as various trainings focused clearly on the female gender.

Without leaving our country, we can see that the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, in conjunction with the Council for Women and IBM, released the program “Knowledge transfer for women entrepreneurs”

This space seeks to train 6,000 women, between 18 and 60 years old, free of charge in topics concerning AI, Cloud (cloud computing) and Design Thinking, covering various technological areas, in order to develop skills, which in turn, they can be approached to advance in how many business plans they have devised.

These opportunities are the ones that will open thousands of doors in the not too distant future, to so many women who seek or find their space and interest in AI. Because digital transformation is here and because there is no minute to lose to expand such precious knowledge.

If they are not taken advantage of, the rules of the game will continue as they have been for a long time. If women exclude themselves from this great revolution and from these eventual jobs, the gender gap and the wage gap will be even more critical.


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