Using research to inform policy measures aimed at increasing equity in the data science and AI fields
The Women in Data Science and AI project sits within the public policy programme at The Alan Turing Institute. We work alongside policy makers and industry stakeholders, offering actionable insights and recommendations to tackle the multifaceted ethical, economic and governance-related issues stemming from inequalities in AI.
The fields of AI and data science have grown exponentially as the world is increasingly being built around automated systems and 'smart' machines. Yet the people whose work underpins this are far from representative of the society these systems are meant to serve.
As AI becomes ubiquitous in everyday life, the drive for diversity and inclusion in technology is of pressing concern. In particular, the persistent under-representation of women and marginalised groups in data science and AI, including gender data gaps, leads to the encoding and amplification of bias in technical products and algorithmic systems, creating harmful feedback loops.
It is crucial that we get ahead of this now, before flawed technologies become irreversibly integrated into the fabric of society. We address these complex challenges through a three-tiered approach:
In collaboration with Diversio, an AI-based diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) platform, this research explores behavioural and structural inclusion challenges faced by women in technology companies.
We are using Diversio’s database and employee public review websites’ data to analyse, and therefore tackle, diversity and inclusion pain points (e.g., pay gap, leadership diversity) within the technology industry across Canada, United States and the United Kingdom.
Stack Overflow, the world’s largest question-and-answer platform of programming knowledge, is a key site for establishing technical expertise and reputation. The overrepresentation of men among the site’s elite may therefore compound the barriers to women’s participation in computing.
Using historical posts, answers and comments from the platform’s archive, our research explores how gender mediates reputation and knowledge creation on the platform, with the aim of providing actionable recommendations for inclusivity in online forums.
We developed a tool, the ‘Diversity Dashboard’, to offer insights into gender inclusion within online tech workplaces. The Dashboard was designed for use by technology companies, running internally on top of GitHub and Slack, to measure and highlight in real-time potential differences between the treatment of men and women.
To find out more about the tool please watch the demo video below and read the information sheet.
We developed a new and innovative tool for scraping LinkedIn's profiles to access information regarding individual’s job, skills and educational backgrounds in the data and AI fields. For more information, please reach out via our contact form.
The Women in Data Science and AI’s Hub is a digital platform for women and marginalised groups interested in joining, or already involved in, the data science and AI community. Through our curation of relevant organisations, networks, guides, and educational resources, we aim to encourage increased participation and advance gender diversity within the data science and AI industry.