Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
The Dublin city lead for Women in AI Ireland says current measures don’t address all the obstacles to progression faced by women – especially parents.
Women are underrepresented in artificial intelligence and technology in both academia and industry. This is not news. The disparity has been discussed for years now. Yet, surprisingly, little progress has been made.
According to the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI’s 2021 AI Index Report, just 16pc of tenure-track faculty focused on AI are women across the world’s top universities.
We have taken some positive steps in Ireland, especially since the 2016 review of the HEA’s Expert Group on Gender Equality, after which came measures such as the HEA linking research funding eligibility to progress on gender equality. Institutions in turn have established equality, diversity and inclusion units. There has been improvement, although there is still some way to go in relation to the number of female professors in our universities.
As a woman working in the field, I am often asked about these challenges. Many proposed solutions rightly or wrongly focus on women, encouraging them into the sector.
For example, I do a lot of work demystifying my job for students thinking about a career in STEM. I use my position to support and mentor colleagues, buoying people up as much as possible, often reassuring them that it is okay to say no. I accept invitations to speak on panels and to diverse groups in an effort to encourage more women into this area.
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