There is a huge untapped talent pool of young women across the region who are dreaming big and want to develop their skills in the data science field. At Ishango.ai one of our goals is to support and nurture this talent. Below we share why developing female data science talent is crucial now more than ever and how we are going about it.
On the 10th of August, we will host our – Women in Data Science: Breaking the Bias event. Do come along and join us to hear from women who are blazing the trail in the data science field, speaking about their experiences and how the ecosystem can better encourage and support women. Register here for free
Women are disproportionately affected by biased algorithms
Data, it has often been said, is the new oil. Data is now a key driver of decision making in everything from education and healthcare to financial services and agriculture. Critically, AI algorithms are increasingly being relied on to make these decisions. While these technological advances have many significant benefits, they also come with the risk of potentially harmful consequences of biased algorithms. From gender-biased AI automated recruitment tools to credit algorithms that disproportionately penalize female applicants, there is no shortage of recent examples that biased algorithms are impacting women’s access to opportunities.
Getting more women into data science can help to build more equitable solutions
The path to more equitable technology starts with diversifying who gets to be a part of creating it. Leading women in AI such as Timnit Gebru and Rediet Abebe, the co-founders of Black in AI, have led ground-breaking research that has shone a light on gender-biased and racist algorithms which have been crucial to helping develop solutions to address these risks. These female trailblazers highlight why it is critical for women, and particularly black women, to be a part of building more equitable technologies.
What are we doing about this at Ishango?
At Ishango.ai, we established a Women data science community to inspire and support the thousands of aspiring female data scientists across Africa through mentorship, informative sessions and skills development opportunities. Recently, in partnership with DataQuest, we offered 100 scholarships to young women across Africa to access free online courses to support their data science journey. And we are just getting started! We hope that this will be the first of many more opportunities to come. If you are an experienced data scientist or organisation with tools and expertise to share with our Women in data science community, please do reach out to us, we would love to collaborate!