Report Finds Huge Gender Gap in Artificial Intelligence Workforce

Only 22 percent of professionals with AI skills are female.

12. 18. 18 by Kristin Houser
Tag Hartman-Simkins
Image by Tag Hartman-Simkins

Gender Trap

If artificial intelligence is going to reach its potential, we need to get more women involved in the industry.

On Monday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published a report focused on the global economic gender gap.

According to the WEF’s research, a massive gender gap is already forming in the AI workforce — a gap the industry needs to start addressing today if it doesn’t want to suffer soon.

Boss Man

Through a collaboration with LinkedIn, the WEF learned that 78 percent of professionals with AI skills are male — a gender gap three times larger than that in other industries.

Advertisement

Women and men don’t hold the same types of AI jobs, either. According to the WEF report, men were more likely than women to hold senior positions, such as software engineer or head of engineering. Women in AI, on the other hand, were more likely to hold lower and less lucrative positions, such as data analyst or researcher.

If AI skills increase in demand in the future — as predicted by the WEF report — a gender gap in those skills could mean fewer women are able to participate in the economy as a whole.

Additionally, the AI industry itself could suffer if the AI gender gap continues on its current trajectory. It’s already struggling to find enough qualified participants, and it might miss out on opportunities to innovate if it excludes half the population from the development process.

Worth the Effort

According to Saadia Zahidi, a member of the World Economic Forum’s managing board, the AI industry can avoid such a fate through “effective training, reskilling, and upskilling interventions and tangible job transition pathways.”

Advertisement

In other words, it’ll take effort, but we can narrow or possibly even close the AI gender gap — and that could benefit us all.

READ MORE: 108 Years: Wait for Gender Equality Gets Longer as Women’s Share of Workforce, Politics Drops [World Economic Forum]

More on gender in tech: The Tech Industry’s Gender Problem Isn’t Just Hurting Women

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Singularity Education Group All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.