The critical role of women in AI 3 takeaways from female leaders about how to lead the AI revolution

October 5, 2023

For the past year, many conversations have focused on what AI can do to improve people’s lives. But what can people do to improve AI?

 As the technology landscape rapidly evolves, serious considerations have arisen about AI’s safe, secure, and responsible use. While anyone can contribute meaningfully to this conversation, women and minorities may be particularly well-positioned to help, given that many are acutely aware of underlying issues like bias, privacy, and security.     

 The critical role that women can play in designing and driving effective, responsible AI-based business transformation was the topic of the Globant Salesforce Studio’s recent panel, Women in AI, and a major point of discussion at Dreamforce 2023. Moderated by Fatima Said, Managing Director, Globant Commerce Studio, this discussion brought together leading voices in the field, including Amy Tyler, Divisional Vice President, Commercial Delivery at Abbott, Indira Gillingham, Vice President of Partner Alliances at Salesforce, and Kerry Hudson, Vice President, North America Sales at Conga, to discuss how people can use this technology in their professional lives and shape its application in their companies, industries and the world at large. 

 3 takeaways from women at the forefront of AI

 Adapt your skillset to get ahead.

 AI is changing how we work – and people are hardly passive observers of this trend.

 According to a recent survey, about eight in 10 people have used ChatGPT or a similar AI tool at work. This underscores the optimism and enthusiasm many people have for this technology to streamline and automate tasks, saving time and effort along the way.

 But to use AI effectively in their professional lives, people need to position themselves for change. The good news is that there is ample time to begin to build the necessary technical skills and develop a general awareness of the technology. According to Amy Tyler, Divisional Vice President, Commercial Delivery at Abbott, getting started can be simple.

 “Read, read, read,” says Amy. “Research, talk to people, make yourself knowledgeable about what’s going on in the field. You don’t have to be the expert, but make yourself knowledgeable enough that you can have an opinion [and be part of the conversation].”

 Using AI tools to their fullest potential will ultimately create new opportunities for people in the workforce, allowing them to build skills and forge careers in areas where they may not necessarily have traditional education or experience.

 “In so many ways, AI is about learning new skills. It’s about taking the foundation of what we have and building from there,” says Indira Gillingham, Vice President of Partner Alliances at Salesforce. “[As we introduce] AI products [and features], we’re helping people build skills so that they are part of the solution. People can use an assistant to help them write code [or create a workflow without development experience.]”

 Lean into your lived experience.

 What happens when you ask a generative AI tool to produce a picture of an athlete? Chances are that the photo will feature a person who is male, white, young, and tall.

 By virtue of their identity, women and other minority groups are likely to notice the inherent bias of AI models and can call attention to the need for greater inclusivity when building such tools.

 “When you look at AI holistically, it has known biases that are built in,” says Kerry Hudson, Vice President, North America Sales at Conga. “What we have to think about is how we can use this technology intelligently. We can pull the right data out of context and use that information. There’s a human component that goes into verifying that data and ensuring it is trustworthy.”

 “Women have an important role to play in training large language models to be unbiased,” agrees Indira. “The only way to do that is to use it, develop it, create it, to be active participants [in working towards inclusivity].”

 Raise your hand to lead the way.

 The most important point raised by our panel was for women to get involved and take an active role in shaping how their companies and clients use AI..

 “This may sound like a stereotype, but it is often the unfortunate truth: Women are not the first ones to raise their hands when it comes to new opportunities,” says Amy. “But AI is an area where there are very few true experts, and no one has all the answers. As a woman in this space, I believe now is the perfect time to insert your opinion and raise your voice about how to proceed.”

 “AI presents a great opportunity to women because nobody owns this space,” agrees Indira. “Embrace the technology. Take the time to understand how you can leverage AI in your role and your function. Raise your hand and advise your clients to raise their hands, too. Be part of a pilot and learn along the way…so that you don’t get left behind.”

 Leading the way in AI today and tomorrow

 In the coming year, we expect to see a notable shift in the conversation about AI, focusing not just on what this technology can do for us but on what we, as individuals and as a society, can do to improve AI. 

Globant’s recent panel, “Women in AI,” served as a powerful platform to explore the pivotal role women play in shaping AI’s future. We were honored to be joined by our panelists and partners like Salesforce to drive the conversation around this critical issue and explore the steps women can take to become leaders in this field.

 As a digitally native company, we strive to be at the forefront of new technology innovations and evolutions. If your organization has questions about advancing or maturing your AI strategy, the experts from our Salesforce Studio and Data & AI Studio are here to help. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

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