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Empowering Women in AI: The Crucial Role of Female Developers

Empowering Women in AI: The Crucial Role of Female Developers
Empowering Women in AI: The Crucial Role of Female Developers
Summary. Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming our world, impacting everything from healthcare and finance to entertainment and transportation. Yet, amidst this technological revolution, a significant gender gap persists: only 22% of AI professionals globally are women. This underrepresentation not only raises ethical concerns but also poses a missed opportunity for diverse perspectives and talent that could fuel further innovation.

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Warning! This article is written by a woman, but it is meant for both women and men to read it. If you find this article bias, please contact the editor (who is also a woman).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing industries worldwide, from healthcare to finance, and transportation to entertainment. However, behind the scenes of this technological advancement lies a gender disparity that cannot be overlooked. Despite the growing demand for AI expertise, women remain underrepresented in the field, particularly in developer roles. When I started my degree in Computer Science back in 2001, I was one of 15 girls in a class of over 100 boys. The disparity was obvious in every class. When I started my PhD in on the same subject in 2006, I met Dame Wendy Hall, a knighted fellow of the Royal Society, and an inspiring champion for women in technology. She was the university head of Department for Computer Science & Engineering; a position rarely occupied by a woman. I did not realise back then the depth of the problem of the gender gap, nor the real reasons behind it. Now, after nearly 15 years working in technology applications in the financial industry, I have a better appreciation of every woman who advocates to close the gap. This is not a woman’s problem though, it is a civilisation problem, a matter of both human progression and ethics. Addressing the gender gap goes beyond equality, it is a strategic imperative for the advancement of computer science, AI and their applications.


The Current Landscape

The lack of gender diversity in AI is evident in various aspects of the industry. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, women represent only 22% of AI professionals globally. This underrepresentation extends to leadership positions, with women holding less than 20% of roles in AI research and development. Just walk into a university research lab, a boardroom, or even an AI based start-up, and you will see the evidence first hand. In addition to this, studies have shown that AI technologies often reflect biases and ethnocentricity present in the data they are trained on, highlighting the importance of diverse perspectives in AI development. This does not only impact the gender gap, but many other portions of societies such as minorities, and people with disability. There was even a Netflix documentary called ‘Coded Bias’ about it, featuring researcher and top advocate for ethical AI Joy Buolamwini from the MIT Media Lab, one of the most advanced institutions in innovative applications of AI.


Importance of Women Developer Presence

Diverse Perspectives

Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to AI development and user-centric design, contributing to more inclusive and equitable solutions. By involving women in the design and implementation of AI systems, developers can better address the diverse needs and preferences of users. With women being half of society, without women’s presence in the driving seat, AI will be driven by half of the society. This is 50% efficiency from social and cultural perspective, which can lead to issues down the line in maintaining a sustainable well nurtured civilisation. You wouldn’t sit on a chair with only 2 legs, so why would you accept a technology designed and implemented by half the population.

Mitigating Bias

Gender bias and stereotypes can inadvertently influence AI algorithms, leading to biased outcomes. Women developers can help identify and mitigate these biases, ensuring that AI technologies are fair and unbiased across different demographic groups. As AI is in its infancy from a social impact perspective, it is integral to have female representation in the core AI fields such as dataset analysis, algorithm training, and machine learning.

Innovation and Creativity

Diversity fosters innovation and creativity by bringing together individuals with varied backgrounds and ideas. Women developers bring fresh insights and approaches to problem-solving in AI, leading to more innovative solutions and breakthroughs. For most of us, Human creativity stems from bringing 2 or more non-related existing concepts or ideas into a new original one. This means the more diverse the ideas, the more creativity you get. If women and men are different at even 0.0001% in the thought, experience, or cognitive processes, this will lead to many more permutations of inventiveness.

Market Opportunities

Women represent a significant consumer demographic, and their perspectives are crucial for designing AI products and services that resonate with diverse audiences. By increasing women’s representation in AI development, companies can tap into new market opportunities and better meet the needs of their customers.


Strategies for Empowerment

Education and Training

Encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and providing access to AI-related courses and training programs can help bridge the gender gap in AI. This approach needs to be implemented all over the world, not just in the west. Why? Because we do not want to miss valuable contributions from any groups of women worldwide.  There are few initiatives to champion women in STEM such as merit bursaries, motivational speeches in schools, and changes to inclusion policies such as the UNISCO’s Women 4 Ethical AI Platform. The numbers of these initiatives, however, does not scale to the rate AI is developing, and we might miss the boat to change before the gap widens.

Supportive Work Environments

Creating inclusive and supportive work environments where women feel valued and empowered to contribute can attract and retain female talent in AI development. Women should be included in training and development opportunities and not discouraged by the sheer number of men in this fields. This is not a HR ‘quota’ thing. These transformations should come with raising awareness constantly and at every possible opportunity to change cultures and eradicate stereotypes. Other topics that should be considered are maternity, equal parenting opportunities, the motherhood penalty, and any other driver that might hinder women in AI to get to the top decision-making positions.

Mentorship and Networking

Establishing mentorship programs and networking opportunities for women in AI can provide guidance, support, and career advancement opportunities. Mentorship does not have to be women to women as the idea is not to create gender silos of knowledge. Knowledge sharing and advocacy should be diverse in nature.

Advocacy and Policy

Advocating for policies and initiatives that promote gender diversity and inclusion in the AI industry, such as celebrating women’s achievements in the industry through awards and incentives, diversity quotas policies, gender-neutral recruitment practices, reduction of pay gaps, government and agencies policies and laws for enforcing ethical AI, and transparency in reporting the gender gap, can drive systemic change.



The representation of women in AI development is not only a matter of social justice but also a strategic imperative for the advancement of AI technologies. By empowering and supporting women in AI, we can harness the full potential of diverse perspectives, drive innovation, and create AI solutions that benefit society as a whole. It is essential for stakeholders across academia, industry, and government to collaborate in addressing the gender gap in AI and ensuring a more inclusive, equitable future for the field. Here in London, we strive for a sustainable equitable innovative city that empowers women of the world, so we can keep our beloved London  as great as it can be.

Disclaimer: The content of all our articles is protected by the Terms & Conditions policy. For license of content, please reach out to us directly, our information are on the contact us page.

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