Could ethical AI help underrepresented groups get ahead at work?
It’s no secret that the pandemic resulted in women and marginalized communities being ousted from the work force in record numbers. Though many demographic sectors have since bounced back, the gains remain unequal among traditionally under-represented groups.
For example, employment in the accommodation and food service industries, which are traditionally staffed primarily by women, are still 17 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. And while the unemployment rate for racialized workers has returned to pre-pandemic levels, it’s still higher than that of non-racialized workers. Youth, Indigenous people, women with children under 6 and many other vulnerable sectors have experienced similar disparities.
“We’ve gotten back to a pre-pandemic level and this is something to celebrate, but is it good enough? If we want an inclusive economy, we have to put in the effort,” Kaylie Tiessen, economist and policy analyst at Unifor, said recently to The Canadian Press.
The question is: How can we raise these under-represented sectors to an equitable rate of participation in the labor market?
Artificial intelligence, or AI, might be the answer.