Multimedia Reporter

You hail rides using your phone; you rely on algorithms to decide what food to order; you get help from Siri and Alexa with your tax computations—artificial intelligence (AI) has become as regular a part of our days as the Internet. But despite its prevalence in the lives of nearly every person in the world today, the development of this technology is hardly inclusive.

A global study by Morning Consult of more than 3,200 AI professionals found that women in AI worldwide were nearly five times as likely as men to say their career advancement was negatively impacted by their gender. Moreover, 74 percent of AI professionals who believe diversity hasn’t improved say the industry must become more diverse to reach its potential.

In a Think Digital 2020 pre-conference event, Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President of IBM Cloud & Data Platform, noted the current gender gap: “Only 26% of professionals in AI are women, according to the World Economic Forum, and that needs to change. We need more diversity of thought.”

Women Leaders in AI

IBM’s Women Leaders in AI program was created last year to help provide visibility to women leading in AI, encourage increased female participation in the field of AI, and provide honorees a network for shared learning. Recognizing leaders spearheading AI initiatives and learning from their experiences in building AI that’s inclusive and transparent becomes even more crucial in this time of digital transformation.

This year’s Women Leaders in AI list recognizes 35 exceptional female business leaders from 12 countries who are using artificial intelligence to drive transformation, growth, and innovation across industries.

“Artificial intelligence will be at the center of business transformation over the next decade, and for us to mitigate bias moving forward we need women and diverse teams at the forefront of AI. That’s why we are proud to share the stories of 35 remarkable women who are driving progressive use of AI using Watson,” said Michelle Peluso, IBM’s Senior Vice President for Digital Sales and Chief Marketing Officer. “Their accomplishments are an inspiration to all of us.”

The 2020 women leader honorees include:

  1. Tiphanie Combre, Senior Director, AI Assisted Service and Automation, ADP (U.S.)
  2. Amy Shreve-McDonald, Lead Product Marketing Manager for Business Digital Experience, AT&T (U.S.)
  3. Mara Reiff, Vice President, Strategy and Business Intelligence, Bell Canada (Canada)
  4. Tammy Lucas, Vice President of Marketing, Best Western Hotels & Resorts (U.S.)
  5. Sheila Ambruster, Senior Manager, Strategic Architecture, The Boeing Company (U.S.)
  6. Claire Lucas, Head of Artificial Intelligence, Bouygues Telecom (France)
  7. Rosa Martinez, Cognitive Project Manager, CaixaBank (Spain)
  8. Michèle Brengou, Cognitive Factory Business Leader, Crédit Mutuel (France)
  9. Ashley Lawrence, Research and Innovation Project Manager, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (U.S.)
  10. Maiga Bishop, Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Dillard’s (U.S.)

The full list can be found here.