This year’s themes for International Women’s Day are important ones. The widely adopted #BreakTheBias theme calls for a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. The United Nations observed theme ‘Gender quality today for a sustainable tomorrow’ acknowledges that 2022 is pivotal for achieving gender equality in the context of climate change and environmental and disaster risk reduction.
Breaking the bias is an important theme for the tech sector particularly because:
- Automation will see millions of women around the world transition between occupations by 2030, ideally into higher-skilled roles. To weather this disruption, women need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy, but women face pervasive barriers.
- If women are able to make these transitions, they could be on the path to more productive, better-paid work. If they cannot, they could face a growing wage gap or be left further behind particularly because STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skillsets will be in enormous demand across the economy, and yet these are the industries where progress toward gender parity in work and economic participation is already slow.
- Bias exists in data. All people involved in the data ecosystem need to be aware of bias and how to mitigate bias risk to produce gender-smart data science algorithms and data products.
Without clear pathways to leverage the opportunities of the data age, women and girls will be left further behind.
We celebrate the achievements of all the women we work with, and offer actions you can take including supporting more women to build their data literacy and capability to take advantage of the data age.