At the recent TechLeaders conference in the Blue Mountains, Angela Kim – Australia’s Ambassador for Women in AI and also the Director for Data Analytics & AI at Deloitte – talked about why it’s such a good time for women to consider a career in tech and Artificial Intelligence (AI) because: “…by 2030, 80% of all jobs will be either directly or partially based in AI.”
Angela pointed out that this means it will be “mandatory” for most workers to be “data and tech literate.”
She said: “Otherwise, you’ll have very limited options for your jobs and you’ll be in a disadvantaged position. So, the good thing is for coding and technology, you don’t have to start from scratch for a lot of positions. As long as you know generally how data and coding work, you can find a variety of roles in this field. You don’t have to be a hardcore coder.”
“There are so many different streams and roles within an organisation,” Angela added. “So, there are many different opportunities. The good thing about the female is she often has more empathy and so by nature, she can put herself in the other person’s shoes.”
We asked Angela why this trait of having empathy is important for people working in AI and technology and she said: “Because we want technology to have empathy. By having empathy, you are automatically more considerate and you can really understand how to prevent unintended consequences. When working in ethical AI, there will be lots of opportunities which will arise.”
Angela added if young women feel they don’t know enough about technology to work in a field like AI, they can look around for female role models who can help them.
She said: “It’s important for young women not to get discouraged if they feel they’re not competent because there are so many other females who are willing to help them. Look to your left – look to your right and you’ll find them. And then also remember, when you are in a position of leadership, make sure you help others as well.”
We asked Angela what’s the first step for young women if they want to enter technical fields such as Artificial Intelligence? Angela said one of the first steps is to get a mentor.
“You can try to get a mentor – someone who’s in that field already – possibly at university. Also, try to get a lot of advice. As well, you need to understand your strengths and try to connect your strengths with what’s relevant in the market,” Angela said.
“Regardless of what great strengths you have, if there’s no demand for the job, it’s less helpful. So try to overlay your strength which the market demand,” she added.
We asked Angela what other qualities women need if they want to succeed in tech and AI? She answered: “You need to be hungry – if you’re hungry, people notice that – they know you’re willing to go that bit extra. Because there’s no easy road.”
“For me, I was very lucky to meet great people at the right time but hard work was a big part of it. I worked really hard because I was very lucky to get the opportunities I had. I felt it was almost my duty to work hard so that I could contribute to the community to help people,” she added.
“People can see your intention – it’s amazing – it’s like a boomerang when you help people. The more people you help, the more help you are given. It doesn’t go unnoticed and you’ll be given more opportunities,” she said.
“When there are more people around you – that’s when you can move forward together and you can do great work,” Angela added.
To find out more information about women in AI, you can visit here.
For more from Women Love Tech on how you can find a career in tech, visit here.