Empowering Women in STEM: unleashing the potential of AI and technology | Almawave
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Artificial Intelligence

18 June 2024

Empowering Women in STEM: unleashing the potential of AI and technology

Women remain substantially underrepresented in many STEM disciplines, despite their great potential in the talent pool. Luckily, change is underway, with new technologies like artificial intelligence enabling new career opportunities and redefining workplace dynamics to foster more inclusive and equitable environments.

Skills and knowledge know no gender. And yet, it’s hard to deny, or ignore the gender gap that persists in education and career choices.
While notable figures like Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, physicist Fabiola Gianotti, and Margherita Hack may suggest otherwise, achieving true equality still requires significant progress.
Fortunately, change is on its way.

In recent years, gender diversity has become a top priority in academic and professional discussions.

STEM subjects have come to symbolize the disparity between men and women in the workforce — making this gap a challenge that must be addressed, particularly as new technologies emerge to transform the professional environment.

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Women in STEM: statistics and insights

Despite significant progress in recent years, women continue to be underrepresented in many STEM areas — despite the higher percentage of graduates compared to men.

A recent Gender Gap Repot 2023 from the Job Pricing Observatory shows that women make up 63% of total graduates enrolled from 2013 to 2021. Men, on the other hand, make up just 57.9%.  

The report states that the true gender gap in knowledge lies in the choice of disciplinary areas already at high school, which then intensifies with the choice of university studies. It is clear that this type of gap has a profound impact on what happens in the subsequent phase of women’s lives: their careers.

Looking at specific disciplines, fields such as teaching, linguistics, and psychology see over 80% of enrollees being women. Conversely, men seem to be predominant in certain fields such as computer science and engineering — which drive innovation, social well-being, inclusive growth, and sustainable development.

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The impact of Gender Diversity in STEM fields

The issue of gender equality in STEM extends beyond providing growth opportunities for women; it directly impacts the quality of activities and overall outcomes achieved in these professional fields.

A diversified workforce enriches the professional environment, enhances decision-making processes, and fosters innovation.

Several studies have shown that diverse groups, including those with gender diversity, tend to approach problems from various angles, resulting in more innovative and thorough solutions.

Various research findings also show that companies with greater gender diversity in their executive teams show higher profitability and enhanced talent attraction. Diversity fosters a dynamic and innovative work environment, which can translate into more competitive products and services in the market. 

Bridging the gender gap: overcoming stereotypes and harnessing technology

Changing the prevailing culture is indeed the first step towards encouraging more young people to approach scientific subjects without fear.

Numerous initiatives and programs are aimed at reducing the gender gap in STEM fields, providing support and training to women and girls. For instance, organizations like Women in STEM promote female participation through scholarships, mentorship, and support networks.

AI technologies and biotechnologies are revolutionizing the workplace landscape, offering new opportunities to promote gender diversity.

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Almawave Group: a great opportunity for everyone

Valeria Sandei, CEO of Almawave, advocates greater female participation in STEM professional fields.

AI will drive acceleration across various sectors and activities, boosting productivity, efficiency, and fostering greater interconnectedness of knowledge. It represents a significant opportunity for everyone in the digital realm.”

AI is founded on principles of non-discrimination. However, to truly prevent new disparities, we must increase the presence of women in STEM fields. Currently, the representation of STEM-educated women remains too limited, which is a notable barrier as AI continues to be predominantly shaped by male perspectives.

Approaching STEM disciplines in innovative ways not only fosters individual growth but also contributes to technological development. The possibilities brought by digital evolution are vast, and we are only beginning to explore them.

Insights from STEM professionals

In Almawave’s corporate culture, diversity is a cherished value that is safeguarded and promoted to ensure an inclusive workplace. It celebrates the uniqueness of each individual, turning it into a strength for the company.

It’s no wonder that within the Almawave Group, many young women specializing in STEM fields have found numerous career opportunities.

That’s why we asked some of them for their thoughts on what it means today to become STEM professionals.

My experience has taught me that competence and passion for science have no gender. I believe that every step we take towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM disciplines enriches both our industry and society as a whole.”

Chiara Canton – Head of Speech Software Architecture & LM Team, Almawave

Although there is significant room for improvement in the workplace, we are on the right path to seeing this trend reflected. By committing to an inclusive environment, we can create opportunities where everyone can grow and contribute without barriers.”

Alessandra Staglianò – Product Manager, Almawave

“Girls should be encouraged to engage with scientific subjects from a young age, both at school and within their families. In recent years, many girls with humanities backgrounds have been entering the technological field and developing into professionals with multidisciplinary skills. Women can be the protagonists of this new industrial revolution.”

Cristina Giannone – Lead AI Engineer, Almawave

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Achieving gender equality: Almaviva and Almawave receive DNV certification

To truly create more inclusive environments, specific practices promoting gender equality are essential.

That’s why Almawave and Almaviva have received the UNI/PdR 125:2022 certification from DNV, the only standard in Italy focusing on gender equality.

This significant recognition certifies the company’s commitment to implementing concrete measures to bridge the gender gap and ensure a more inclusive work environment. This environment not only values diversity but also enables individuals to fully develop their potential.

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