The tech can open a world of opportunities

COVID-19 has accelerated companies’ digital transformation like never before. From healthcare to automobile and food to education, companies across industries are embracing new, powerful tech like AI to survive and thrive. In healthcare, for instance, AI-based chatbots and voice assistants are being used in remote diagnosis and personalized medicine. AI is also playing a key role in drug discovery and vaccine development.

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It’s not surprising then that new AI jobs like those of data scientists, AI engineers and business intelligence developers are opening up. But many companies often cite the inability to find the right talent. The low proportion of women in AI is another challenge that needs to be recognized and addressed.

Closing the gender gap in AI is a must

According to the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, only 26 percent of professionals in this flourishing field are women.

But diversity is essential for the progress of any technology. It fosters creativity and helps in developing inclusive systems. Considering that AI holds the potential to revolutionize different arenas and many automated decisions are going to impact our lives, it’s imperative that women tech professionals join the AI revolution.

The opportunities are many and women technologists must make the most of these opportunities to get ahead and advance their careers. How to get started? Here are some steps women can take to launch their journey to becoming AI professionals:

Take that online course, skill up

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned tech professional, there are several AI courses and certifications available online. Learn with Google AI or deep learning courses on Coursera, Udemy or Edx are just some of the examples. What’s more, these educational platforms offer a multitude of courses at affordable prices.

Start small

Implement what you learn. Start with small projects and accelerate to bigger ones as you practice. If you get an opportunity in your current organization, then take that up. If not, you could pick up freelancing AI development gigs. Having exposure to a good AI project will add weight to your resume and help in your career growth.

Join tech initiatives

Join tech initiatives like Grace Hopper Celebration India and leverage platforms like India that are helping women to step up their career in tech. You could also join tech communities at your workplace or create one and have regular connects with other professionals. Such communities are a great place for discussions, knowledge sharing, finding a mentor and learning together with like-minded women in your field, as you move on in your career.

Watch out for job openings

Often, we tend to get influenced by the general perception about the job market and what we hear from our peers and friends. The truth is that there will always be jobs. It may take time to find the right job that is relevant to your skillset, but keep your technical resume ready and be on the lookout for opportunities. You could visit career pages of tech organizations where job openings are posted and apply directly if you see anything relevant for you.

Fight your demons

Even if you are not a technologist or an AI specialist, you could still consider gaining basic knowledge in the field. Don’t let personal inhibitions like “I am not a tech person” or “AI is just for data persons” stop you from building the AI skills that could help you land a great job.

AI is already pervasive—it’s becoming a part of our daily lives, and every business and industry. As companies move to a more digitally enabled workplace, it’s time that as a woman in tech, you start your preparation now to thrive in the future.

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