To close the last gap in the tech sector, turn to technological innovations

The world changes. Fast.

From ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence to Blockchain, Streaming, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Big Data, rapid technological advancements are forever changing our status quo, and no major industry is exempt. .

Digital disruption is real, which begs the question: why aren’t we doing more to disrupt the gender gap? According to the World Economic Forum, it will take us 132 years to achieve gender equality. But, we don’t have to wait that long. It’s really not that difficult.

Why would it take decades to end gender disparate wages?

Why is it taking so long to put more women in leadership positions?

Why is caregiving still a systemic problem for working women – with no real solutions in sight?

And are we spending enough time now to ensure that today’s AI systems don’t perpetuate the biases and stereotypes of the past?

These are all questions that will be addressed at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where creatives and disruptors around the world celebrate creativity in groundbreaking campaigns that inspire solutions to real-world problems.

So while we rightly wonder to what extent new technologies like ChatGPT will eliminate jobs, stifle creativity, and perpetuate the biases of the past, we must also ask ourselves how AI and inclusive design can help us accelerate progress on global issues like gender equality. We can now bring to light the hidden factors to make the invisible visible.

Technology is the mother of invention and prejudices are as old as the times of the fathers. The same goes for traditional hiring practices and much of the workplace designed by men for men.

As regards the current situation of working women, progress has been slow. In this year Women at work report, Deloitte researchers found that of 5,000 women surveyed across 10 countries, only 5% said they work for gender equality leaders or organizations that foster inclusive cultures that support working women and promote mental well-being. Additionally, the recent FQ/IPSOS survey by The Female Quotient found that more than half (53%) of men agree that their workplace should do more to advance gender equality.

If you’re unfamiliar, Gender Equality Leaders are organizations that foster inclusive cultures that support working women and promote mental well-being. And the latest report revealed that only 5% of women surveyed work for these leaders. Of 5,000 working women in 10 countries, only 250 said they worked for gender equality leaders. Employers take note: Women who work for these leaders report having more positive mental health, are more likely to recommend their employer to others, and are less likely to engage in non-inclusive behaviors. Happy, healthy employees and gender equality leaders equal a good workplace.

The fact is, when creativity, technology, and AI come together, even the seemingly impossible is possible. It’s time to put those strengths to work and harness that transformative power to advance equality. The outlook is promising.

While women are still lagging behind in the tech industry across the board, LinkedIn economics data shows trends in AI talent, with female talent growing faster than male talent. With more women in AI R&D, we will approach care, stereotypes, and algorithms in new and meaningful ways.

The truth is, there are plenty of inclusive alternative software options today that identify if companies are adopting a masculine tone in job postings and corporate communications, which can alienate women. It’s a great place to start attracting more women into STEM careers.

Imagine how quickly we could close the gender gap if we combined creativity and technology. From promoting unbiased recruitment to facilitating pay equity analyses, education/training and bias detection/mitigation, the possibilities are truly endless.

The time for change has come. Achieving gender parity doesn’t have to take 132 years, because we have the power of collaboration, design thinking and technology on our side. Together we can close the gender gap. Fast.

Shelley Zalis is the CEO and Founder of The Female Quotient.

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