It shouldn’t be a surprise to those in the technology industry that we need more women to join the machine learning revolution. But now more than ever tech leaders need to be reminded what is at stake and work towards getting more women involved as well as promote diversity in AI systems.
The Numbers Say It All
There is no denying that we have a lot of work to get more women involved in tech and machine learning. These numbers should be a wake-up call:
Automation and Its Impact on Women
In addition to fewer women entering into STEM fields, women are currently employed in fields that are likely to be automated. According to the World Economic Forum, women are projected to take the biggest hit to jobs as human activities are replaced by automation.
“Women are more likely to be employed in jobs that face the highest automation risks. For example, 73% of cashiers in shops are women and 97% of cashiers are expected to lose their jobs to automation. The same report predicts that persistent gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields over the next 15 years will also undermine women’s professional presence.” – Women must act now, or male-designed robots will take over our lives
In digging a bit deeper into the data, we found the source of that 97% in a list of jobs that could go away with automation. Word to the wise, if yours is on the top of the list, start looking for a safer alternative.
Need for Diversity
In addition to data showing that we need more women in tech, it also shows we need to have diverse teams working on AI systems. Having a broad representation of men and women of different age groups, ethnicities and perspectives is imperative. If we don’t have diversity on AI teams, the consequences could have harmful effects.
Call to Action — Join the Tech and Machine Learning Industry
I’ve been in tech all my life and I can attest that it has historically been a very male-heavy industry. But it is changing. It is slower than we want, but it is changing. If you are on the fence whether to enter this field or not, I’d say the salaries are really good and the challenges extremely interesting. If you like solving problems using cunning and creativity, you’ll find this career very rewarding.
It starts with schools. The more diverse group of students we can get to join tech programs the better. So, I want to encourage anybody looking for an intellectually stimulating career to consider this field. There’s something for everybody — if math isn’t your thing, then there’s logic, this was my case. If it isn’t logic, then there are 100’s of other specialties in this field waiting for you! Don’t let any fears stop you — this field is too big for any preconceived notions.
I also imagine that joining a team made of 90% males isn’t always easy. That’s something that is slowly changing. It has gotten better, and it will get better especially if you join in. A big change in today’s work environment is remote work. I have been working remotely for quite a few years and it makes for a very safe and comfortable environment. You will be able to focus on problem-solving without the distractions of a large office environment. The company I work for, SpringML, is mostly remote with employees all over the world. We communicate using Google Hangouts and make our time together count by exchanging ideas, techniques, latest tools, and we skip the BS.
SpringML Machine Learning Rockstars
I’d like to introduce you to a few of the SpringML women machine learning rockstars! If I haven’t convinced you to join the machine learning revolution, I know their stories will!
I’ve been in the tech industry since 1990 when I was hired as a software engineer in the NASA shuttle program. When I was at NASA, I saw how technology positively impacted the way people did their jobs. At that time, very few females were in the industry and anyone who had aspirations to dig into it and learn had great opportunities. It is the same today in Machine Learning and as a result, I’m continuously learning something new and I’m very excited to be involved in this field.
Associate Data Science Engineer
I wanted to enter the world of technology because it is ever changing and widely used in everyday life. The work I’ve done on chatbot development is very fulfilling. It is interesting to see how you can contribute and be a part of a product that’s rapidly revolutionizing everyone’s lives. This motivates me even more to come up with unique solutions to new problems in tech.
Associate Machine Learning Engineer
I have always been intrigued with problem-solving. Technology is always changing and with it comes new challenges every day. I enjoy working in a field that keeps me on my toes where I get to learn something new each and every day.
Digital Marketing Manager
At SpringML, I get to help tell the story of how SpringML is helping clients with digital transformation. I have always been a very curious and creative person. I have also wanted to work in an industry that made a difference in our world. I love this field because I get to work in an industry that desperately needs and welcomes the involvement of women and minorities. I also get to use my problem solving and creative talents on a daily basis to make our world a better place.
Working at SpringML I have gained experience as a business analyst, data analyst, and EA developer. My background has always been in science and technology. The modeling work I’ve done requires large amounts of data and statistical analysis. Using the latest technology tools, I get to help clients use their data and provide them with insights they would not have had otherwise.
Sales Operations Analyst
I love learning new things all the time and I get bored with a mundane routine. Working in the technology field has allowed me to always be learning. Every week is a new adventure and a new opportunity!
Digital Marketing Manager
As an MBA graduate and Marketing professional, the immense scope of benefits applications of Machine Learning provides different business across different industries is very impressive. That’s what makes it exciting for me to work here at SpringML, where every day as an organization we are developing services and intelligent solutions that would enhance business scalability and improve business operational, efficiencies such as speed, cost savings, and greater precision, and much more.
Associate ML Engineer
I have always been very interested in Math and also love to solve problems or discover new problems to solve. Machine Learning is a field which aims at finding solutions to problems and more times than not helps us to find even a better solutions.
Associate ML Engineer
Every day at SpringML is a new development and interesting! I love each and every day. The interest in automating things to make people’s lives easier has made me passionate about Machine Learning.
Data Science is Fun
If you are interested in learning more about joining the machine learning revolution, we’d love to hear from you. You can also check out our careers page for a list of various Machine Learning positions available at SpringML. We are a team of passionate quant and poets who geek out over data, get excited to solve tough problems and like seeing results, fast. If you share similar traits, we want you on our team.
If you if are interested in seeing if you the machine learning industry is for you, check out my walk-throughs on data science. It is free and available to everyone. The lessons are written in simple English and attempt to break down complex data science work into practical exercises. You can find them at amunategui.github.io.