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AI can be women’s best friend

How is Generative AI impacting women? How should corporates respond to preserve and promote their wellbeing? Dr. Bijna Kotak Dasani MBE FRSA shares answers in an interaction with Banking Frontiers:

AI can be women’s best friend

Manoj Agrawal: What are the top 3 positive impacts you expect to see from Generative AI on women in the corporate world?

Bijna: One positive impact of AI in the workplace is that it can be used to reduce gender bias in hiring processes – particularly useful for sectors such as STEM where this is a global gap for women and they only represent one quarter of the global workforce

Another positive factor is that AI-related roles are compensated well globally, thus increasing the overall averages for women in roles across organizations, industries and geographies

Finally, AI is creating an opportunity for women in more traditional roles to be upskilled and reskilled within their existing employments; this is a strong trend in banking for example – AI catalyses innovation, promotes ongoing education and development opportunities and efficiency of outputs.

What are the top 3 negative impacts you expect to see from Generative AI on women in the corporate world?

AI poses potential threats to privacy and can accentuate exposure / risk to vulnerable / sensitive information. AI is AI is purely logical and operates decision models through pre-determined parameters. This can lead to ethic and morality challenges.

BCG recently reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that 11% of jobs currently held by women (a higher percentage than those currently held by men) are at risk of elimination as a result of AI and other digital technologies. And there have been reports of AI algorithms in talent management software generating results slanted against women because of a cumulative bias baked into the data on which the algorithms are trained.

Describe 2-3 policies that corporates should develop to minimize the negative impact of Generative AI on women?

Blended decision making (human and technology) to manage bias and gender discrimination risks posed by AI is an important investment for companies. AI algorithms need to be vetted through multiple user cases to fully contain the risks AI can pose to diversity through the patterns of logic which lack context. E – examples would be in hiring, promoting, retention policies. Training and development to educate and create awareness of the blind spots that AI may cause for women in the workplace become an increasing responsibility for businesses.

What kind of research would you recommend that will give insights to maximize the benefits of AI for women?

1. Governments and corporates should invest in understanding the potential for reskilling and roles, jobs, tasks of the future to help train and develop women and girls as early on as possible – thus containing the widening gender gap.

2. The benefits of AI support at home and at work for men and women and how better to balance responsibilities – globally, women still undertake a disproportionate level of responsibility at home – providing AI support for men and women at both home and work – will help re-baseline this.

3. The impact on socio economic trends – AI centric roles can uplift women through strong salaries, and in turn uplift the families and communities. It can be a powerful means to empower women.

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