AI’s Impact on Female Workers: Challenges and Opportunities
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing industries and workplaces across the globe. Its potential impact on the workforce, particularly for female workers, has been a topic of intense discussion. To shed light on this issue, technologist and inclusion strategist Patricia Gestoso will be presenting a talk at the Women in Tech Festival in October.
Patricia’s interest in AI was sparked by her experience as a Director of Support for a scientific and engineering software corporation. She witnessed how AI is helping customers accelerate processes like drug discovery and clinical trials. However, as an inclusion strategist, she is also aware of the biases that AI can encode and automate.
The title of Patricia’s talk, Automated out of work: AI’s impact on the female workforce, raises the question of whether women will be disproportionately affected by the next wave of automation. Patricia challenges the assumptions underlying this notion. While some studies suggest that certain sectors will be more impacted and that women are more likely to be negatively affected, other studies indicate that white collar workers, predominantly men, may face the greatest impact.
Patricia believes that the focus should not solely be on future predictions but rather on the current impact of AI on the workforce. She points out that men are already significantly affected in industries like warehousing and driving, where AI is used to schedule and monitor work. Additionally, professions like book authors, screenwriters, and actors, which are not traditionally considered female jobs, are also expressing concerns about AI replacing their work.
To mitigate the challenges that both women and other underrepresented groups may face due to AI, Patricia suggests three areas of action. First, increasing negotiation power through digital platforms and tools can help organize resistance and protect workers’ rights. Second, learning about AI and understanding its impact on specific industries is crucial. Finally, professionals should explore how AI can augment their skills and capabilities rather than viewing it as a threat.
Concerns about AI exacerbating power and wealth concentration are valid. Patricia acknowledges that AI is already disadvantaging marginalized groups due to biased data inputs. Efforts to limit the reach of AI are often seen as impeding progress, but she argues that regulation is necessary to ensure the responsible and ethical use of AI in society.
In her keynote at the Women in Tech Festival, Patricia aims to reassure those who fear job losses by providing actionable strategies to navigate AI’s impact on careers. She also hopes to inspire curiosity about alternative futures, where humans remain in control and machines are tools for enhancement rather than replacement.
The Women in Tech Festival on October 31st in London offers a unique opportunity for women in the tech industry to connect, access mentors, and gain practical advice for career advancement. The aim is to enhance diversity and empower women leaders in the tech sector.
In summary, AI’s impact on female workers presents both challenges and opportunities. By understanding AI, advocating for worker rights, and exploiting AI’s potential, women can navigate this rapidly changing landscape and harness its power for their advantage. The Women in Tech Festival provides a platform for professionals to learn, connect, and empower each other in this transformative era.