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Women in AI: Data and Statistics

Diversity in AI is crucial for better decision-making, innovation, and fair outcomes. Including women in AI ensures that technology represents and includes all perspectives. Even though women represent a smaller portion of the AI workforce, they have made significant progress.

However, women comprise only 22% of AI professionals globally, which shows the ongoing need to address the gender gap. Female participation in AI has grown by 5% over the past decade. These numbers show progress and emphasize the importance of continued advocacy for gender diversity in AI.

Top Women Leader in AI

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What Percentage of AI Professionals Are Female?

Women currently make up a small but growing percentage of AI professionals worldwide. Despite significant progress, with women representing 22% of AI professionals globally, there remains a substantial gender gap in this field. This means out of an estimated 300,000 AI specialists worldwide, approximately 66,000 are women.

  1. Women represent 22% of AI professionals globally.

According to the World Economic Forum, only 22% of AI professionals are women out of an estimated 300,000 AI specialists worldwide. It highlights the gender disparity in the AI industry and emphasizes the need for continued efforts to promote gender diversity.

  1. In North America, women hold 25% of AI roles.

A study by Element AI found that in North America, women occupy 25% of AI positions. Given the estimated 150,000 AI professionals in this region, about 37,500 are women, reflecting regional variations in gender representation.

  1. Women constitute 18% of AI researchers worldwide.

Data from the AI Index 2021 report indicates that women comprise 18% of AI researchers globally. This means that of approximately 80,000 AI researchers, only around 14,400 are women, showing the gender gap in high-level AI research roles.

  1. In the EU, 24% of AI professionals are women.

The European Commission reports that women represent 24% of AI professionals in the European Union. With an estimated 200,000 AI professionals in the EU, approximately 48,000 are women, highlighting a similar gender disparity as seen globally.

Which Companies Are Leading in Gender Diversity in AI?

Some companies are in charge of promoting gender diversity within their AI teams, setting benchmarks for the industry. Overall, these companies have higher than average female representation in AI roles, contributing to the gradual increase in gender diversity across the tech sector.

  1. IBM boasts a 30% female workforce in AI roles.

With women filling 30% of its AI roles, IBM stands out, significantly higher than the industry average. Of IBM’s 10,000 AI professionals, about 3,000 are women, demonstrating IBM's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

  1. At Microsoft, women make up 28% of AI positions.

Microsoft has achieved a 28% female representation in AI roles. With an AI workforce of 12,000, approximately 3,360 of those positions are held by women, showing progress in their diversity and inclusion efforts.

  1. Google reports 26% of female employees in AI.

Google has reported that 26% of their AI workforce consists of women. Out of Google’s 15,000 AI professionals, about 3,900 are women, reflecting ongoing efforts to improve gender diversity within the company.

  1. Facebook (Meta) has 23% women in AI roles.

Meta (formerly Facebook) fills 23% of its AI positions with women. With an AI team of 8,000, this means approximately 1,840 are women, indicating room for growth in gender diversity within the company.

  1. Accenture has 35% women in AI and technology roles.

Accenture leads with 35% of its AI and technology roles occupied by women. Given its 20,000-strong AI workforce, about 7,000 positions are held by women, showcasing its strong commitment to gender diversity in tech.

How Has Female Participation in AI Changed Over the Years?

Female participation in AI has gradually improved, thanks to various initiatives and programs encouraging women to enter and stay in the field. This progress is evident in the increasing number of women pursuing AI-related education and careers and the rising representation of women in AI conferences, research, and leadership roles. Despite these advances, women still face challenges in achieving parity, indicating the need for ongoing efforts and support.

Here are numbers on women’s participation in the AI industry: 

  1. Female participation in AI has increased by 5% over the past decade.

Over the last decade, the percentage of women in AI has risen by 5%, reflecting positive but slow progress toward gender parity. If there were 200,000 women in AI ten years ago, there are now about 210,000, attributed to educational programs, mentorship, and advocacy for women in tech.

  1. Since 2015, women’s representation in AI has grown by 7%.

According to the AI Now Institute, women’s representation in AI has grown by 7% since 2015. This increase suggests that out of 100,000 professionals, 7,000 more women have entered the field, showing an upward trend in female participation.

  1. The number of women in AI leadership roles has increased by 12% in the past five years.

A report from McKinsey indicates that the number of women in AI leadership roles has increased by 12% over the past five years. It means if there were 10,000 women in leadership roles five years ago, there are now 11,200, highlighting progress in women’s career advancement in AI.

  1. Women’s participation in AI-related conferences has risen by 15%.

Women's participation in AI-related conferences has risen by 15% recently. If 20,000 women had attended these conferences previously, about 23,000 would have attended now, suggesting growing interest and involvement in the field.

  1. Women account for 22% of AI faculty positions in academia.

In academic settings, women hold 22% of faculty positions in AI departments. Out of 1,000 AI faculty members, about 220 are women, indicating gradual improvement in gender diversity in higher education.

Top Women in AI Around the Globe

Several women have emerged as leaders in AI, making significant contributions to the field and serving as role models for future generations. These trailblazers have advanced AI research and applications and championed diversity and inclusion within the tech industry. Their achievements and leadership inspire more women to pursue careers in AI, gradually changing the landscape of this traditionally male-dominated field.

  1. Fei-Fei Li, a prominent AI leader, has over 200,000 citations for her research.

Fei-Fei Li, a professor at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute, is one of the most cited researchers in AI, with over 200,000 citations. Her work in computer vision has been groundbreaking, making her a leading figure in the field.

  1. Rana el Kaliouby has raised over $50 million in funding for her AI startup.

Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder of Affectiva, raised over $50 million in funding for her AI startup, which focuses on emotion recognition technology. This significant funding demonstrates the value and potential impact of her work.

  1. Daniela Rus, director of MIT’s CSAIL, oversees a team of 50% women.

Daniela Rus, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), leads a team with 50% women researchers. Achieving this is remarkable, given the general gender disparities in tech fields.

  1. Joanna Bryson has authored over 150 publications on AI ethics.

Joanna Bryson, an expert in AI ethics, has authored more than 150 publications, significantly contributing to the discourse on ethical AI development. Her extensive body of work influences policies and practices in AI ethics.

  1. Kate Crawford has been awarded the 2021 Sidney Award for her work on AI bias.

Kate Crawford, a renowned researcher in AI bias, was awarded the 2021 Sidney Award for her influential work in understanding and mitigating bias in AI systems. Her contributions are crucial in developing fairer AI technologies.

What Are the Predictions for the Future of Women in AI?

The future looks promising for women in AI, with various forecasts suggesting increased participation and leadership roles for women in the coming years. Here are forecasts on women’s role in the AI industry:

  1. Experts predict that by 2030, women will hold up to 40% of AI jobs. 

Continued advocacy, educational outreach, and policy changes will drive this increase. If there are 1 million AI jobs, women will hold 400,000. 

  1. Female-led AI startups will receive 25% more funding by 2025.

According to a Forbes report, female-led AI startups will receive 25% more funding by 2025 than at current levels. If they currently receive $100 million, they could receive $125 million, reflecting growing investor confidence in women entrepreneurs in AI.

  1. Women’s representation in AI patent filings will increase by 30% by 2030.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) forecasts a 30% increase in patent filings by women in AI by 2030. If there are 10,000 patent filings now, there could be 13,000 by 2030, indicating a rise in innovative contributions from female AI professionals.

  1. Educational programs will increase the number of female AI graduates by 50% by 2028.

Educational initiatives will boost the number of female graduates in AI-related fields by 50% by 2028. If 20,000 women graduate now, about 30,000 could graduate by 2028, preparing more women for careers in AI.

  1. By 2026, 35% of AI research papers will have female lead authors.

Projections suggest that by 2026, 35% of AI research papers will have female lead authors. If there are 1,000 research papers, 350 could be led by women, highlighting the increasing influence of women in AI research.

The Path Forward for Women in AI

Women in AI have made significant strides, with female participation in the field increasing by 5% over the past decade, and women now represent 22% of AI professionals globally. Companies like IBM and Accenture lead the way with 30% and 35% female representation in AI roles. These improvements testify to the various initiatives and programs encouraging more women to enter and remain in AI. However, the gender gap remains, showing the need for continued efforts to promote gender diversity.

The future appears promising, with experts predicting that women will hold up to 40% of AI jobs by 2030. Increased funding for female-led AI startups, anticipated growth in AI patent filings by women, and a projected rise in female AI graduates and researchers all point to a more inclusive and diverse AI industry. Continued advocacy and support are essential to sustain this momentum and achieve true gender parity in AI.

Sources:

 World Economic Forum

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