Entering and staying resilient in an innovating industry: Women tech leaders on opportunities in AI, ML sector
It is critical that girls receive the education they deserve and are aware of the opportunities available in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
That is the goal of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, observed on February 11, which strives to highlight and educate people about the importance of women in science, not only as beneficiaries but also as change agents, especially in light of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals.
Previously, women were not sure about career growth in the STEM industries for myriad reasons - family support, work-life balance, and most importantly, the confidence to lead and achieve professional success. Now, this situation is changing, thanks to more and more companies evolving to provide flexible working conditions, introducing supportive and career-defining policies and initiatives, and building a cultural foundation where every employee can bring their whole self to work.
People Matters spoke to women tech leaders in the industry about the opportunities that exist for women in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) which has seen immense growth in the last decade.
Evolving AI & ML Space
Significant technological advances and innovation over the past decade have undoubtedly changed the way people live, work, and interact with each other. However, a lot more than just technology has evolved over the last two years due to the pandemic.
The pandemic era has forced organisations to move into an innovation mindset and have disrupted long-lasting, tested, and preferred business models for most organisations, while increasing the technology adoption rate by almost 5X.
One of the technologies that has gained popularity in recent years and seems to have profound future implications is AI.
“Today, most organisations generate consumer benefits and business value by leveraging 70 to 80% AI-led operations and creating AI-infused products and applications. Businesses are now reimagining their operations via a human-AI collaboration,” says Saraswati Kadel, Associate Director, CSS Corp Innovation Labs.
“The AI space has seen immense growth in the last decade - which is also the span of my career in the industry. When I first began, AI was just a research field surrounded by buzz from academia and select quarters of industry. I was always intrigued by AI and experiencing its growth and implementation across domains has been exhilarating,” adds Shraddha Surana, global data community lead, lead data scientist at Thoughtworks.
She says that today, AI concepts are extensively accessible via online courses that increase awareness and build the emerging tech’s global community.
“Take for instance, the boom in Artificial Neural Networks (or Deep Learning). Factors contributing to AI’s explosion include an increase in compute power, technological development, open-source contributions and an awareness of AI's impact on social and economic life,” she adds.