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The 9 Inspirational Women Leaders In AI Shaping The 21st Century

  • 3 mths ago

Women's day and Women's History Month are especially meaningful to me as a proud father of a daughter. I want my daughter to understand how wonderful and invaluable she is, not only to me and her mother, but also to everyone else in the world. Second, I want her to be exposed to amazing women who are accomplishing great things on a daily basis. I live, work and breathe AI and Technology. Through my work and research, I have encountered the work of countless amazing women in this sector. This month, I'd like to introduce you to nine incredible women who are making a difference in AI and Technology, as well as what barriers we all still face. During International Women's History Month, it is our pleasure to highlight and honor 9 women who are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence and ensuring that technology advancements contribute to the greater good.

The following is the first of ten articles in this series. This piece will center on the nine women I've spoken with over the last few weeks and their suggestions for other female professionals, young women, and girls who want to pursue a career in artificial intelligence, as well as what changes they see that must be addressed for true equality in the AI and technology field. The subsequent nine articles will feature the in-depth conversations we had.

Dr. Yevgeniya (Jane) Pinelis, Chief, AI Assurance at DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center

Dr. Jane Pinelis is the Chief of AI Assurance at the Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) headshot

Dr. Jane Pinelis is the Chief of AI Assurance at the Department of Defense Joint Artificial ... [+]

 DR. JANE PINELIS

Dr. Jane Pinelis is the Chief of AI Assurance at the Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). In this role, she leads a diverse team of testers and analysts in rigorous test and evaluation (T&E) for JAIC capabilities, as well as the development of T&E-specific products and standards that will support testing of AI-enabled systems across the DoD. She also leads the team responsible for instantiating Responsible AI principles into DoD practices.

If we truly believe that gender diversity positively affects outcomes in the tech industry, which I believe to be true, then I think the right thing to do is to focus on fixing the supply chain of women into these roles. We must start from very early education, and encourage little girls and young women to consider jobs in technology and national security as potential career options.

I see people who care about gender diversity, and they try to include women on panels, or they make an effort to hire women into certain jobs. But the issue is that there are not enough qualified candidates to go around. That's where we need to put our attention. We need to make sure that the supply chain is fixed, that we have a diverse set of talented individuals with whom we can collaborate.

I think what is women-specific is the need to have mentors, make connections, and see leaders in that role that look like them. We need to build up girls' confidence that these jobs are attainable, build their capabilities starting from a young age, and encourage them to pursue places where they belong.

What I want for my girls is to have the freedom of choice. Ultimately I want them to be aware of the opportunities available to them and to have the skills and the confidence to take advantage of those opportunities. I want them to be in touch with their talents and passions, to pursue those options that reflect their capabilities and interests. I want them to be able to do so free of societal expectations, be it around careers that may be deemed appropriate or inappropriate or about choices they make in their personal lives. I want them to be treated fairly and respectfully in the workplace and society.

“What I want for my girls is to have the freedom of choice. Ultimately I want them to be aware of the opportunities available to them and to have the skills and the confidence to take advantage of those opportunities. I want them to be in touch with their talents and passions, to pursue those options that reflect their capabilities and interests. I want them to be able to do so free of societal expectations.” Dr. Jane Pinelis

 


Sol Rashidi, Chief Analytics Officer at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Sol Rashidi, Chief Analytics Officer at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. headshot

Sol Rashidi, Chief Analytics Officer at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

 SOL RASHIDI

With eight (8) patents issued, 21 filed, and receiving “CAO of the Year 2021” “50 Most Powerful Women in Tech”, “#4 in Top 20 CDOs” award, “2020 & 2021 list of Global Data Power Women", and ”Top 100 Innovators in Data & Analytics”, Sol focuses on creating a community amongst technologist and non-technologists to help businesses push past their capabilities, establish stronger positioning in the marketplace, and make a difference when using the latest advancements in Technology, Data Science, Engineering, Product Development, Data Visualization, Multi-Cloud Infrastructure (AWS/Azure/GCP/DataBricks/Snowflake/Salesforce), and Marketing Analytics.

To quote an old veteran in the space, there’s no other choice but to ‘lean in’. And while we’re making progress, the technology space has more room to evolve.

We have talented women everywhere, women who have worked really hard to perfect their craft, and sometimes they get faulted for prioritizing perfection over progress, sometimes they get reminded to stay in their swim lane, and sometimes their boldness is considered a fault vs virtue. While my experience may not align with all women in tech and their journey, what I have witnessed is, the way we’re able to lean in and lead is because we had that 1 leader, that 1 sponsor, and/or 1 person with influence to create a runway for us. And with that came opportunity, then success and then awareness of the talent.

So my 1st advice to women would be, know who you are and choose if you want to be a thermometer or thermostat? Are your aspirations to read the temperature in the room, or to create the temperature in the room? Because if it's the latter, be prepared for pushback. As this space requires a special backbone and not a wishbone. Change is hard, if it was easy it would have happened by now. So it requires a certain level of confidence and conviction to lead and you need to be prepared.

Continue reading: https://www.forbes.com/sites/markminevich/2022/03/10/the-9-inspirational-women-leaders-in-ai-shaping-the-21st-century/?sh=7b030a492bb0

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