The first 3 industrial revolutions were dominated by men, not because of intellectual superiority but gender-based segregation. Women were not afforded the chance to shine and display their talents in various industries.
We can only look at these previous revolutions as opportunities lost. In trying to salvage some positives in an impossible scenario, we can say the mistake of excluding women in mainstream economies has taught us a big lesson and served as a “poster-child” of what-no-to-do.
I first heard of women’s empowerment in 1995 as a young man in his first year of high school. This was after The Fourth World Conference on Women, under the theme of, “Action for Equality, Development and Peace” which was convened by the United Nations from the 4th to the 15th of September 1995 in Beijing, China.
The Beijing conference had so much impact that it was commonplace for men to discuss women empowerment but unfortunately, most of the man-chatter was not progressive. Men across the world were afraid women would take away their dominance and some even resorted to violence to make sure that no “equal rights” were introduced in their households at the expense of the traditional patriachial system.
It with joy, that today in 2019, many men have taken time to understand the plight of women as a result of historical imbalances. Women should be celebrated for the courage to take their dignity and can now map their own destinies without fear.
This shift in attitudes towards gender equality has reached the four corners of the world and we should celebrate. The celebration does not imply we are naiive and blind to the fact that much more still needs to be done to totally eradicate these historical injustices.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is happening at a time when women almost have a fair shot at life. This is the first revolution that is happening in the midst of a human rights revolution that seeks to eliminate discrimination according to gender. This is an exciting time to be alive, to be alive at a time when approximately 51% of the world which was not able to participate in the mainstream economy is now having a chance to showcase their talent at the highest levels in emerging inustries.
Today we celebrate the inclusion of Patricia Maqetuka, an African woman, in the global list of Women Leaders in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Patricia, like many other women is ushering us into the future through her efforts in herchosen sector of the world economy.
The 2019 Women Leaders in AI is the first list, published by IBM, of 40 movers and shakers who have gone above and beyond in their quest to democratise and promote technological advancement using AI. IBM is honoring women who are putting AI to work in business. These are the women who are leading innovation across industries and around the world.
“Artificial Intelligence is poised to drive dramatic advances in every industry,” said Michelle Peluso, SVP, Digital Sales & CMO, IBM, who also serves as Leader of IBM’s Women’s Initiative. “Today, we are sharing the stories of 40 incredible women, who are paving the way forward in how AI is advancing businesses and changing how people work and live. At IBM, we know gender equality is critical and nowhere is this more important than in AI. We hope the stories shared today will encourage many more women to take a leadership role in shaping the future of this important technology.”
Ranging in industries from telecommunications and finance to education and entertainment, the women were selected based upon the ways they are using AI as a transformation agent to help drive results for their organizations and the employees and customers they serve.
The “Women Leaders in AI” honorees are:
1. Christine Gabbard, Project Manager, Machine Assistance, Autodesk, USA
2. Claudia Ignacio, Executive Director Client Experience, Banco Mercantil del Norte (Banorte), Mexico
3. Fernanda Gonzalez, Digital Channels Manager, Banco Santander Rio, Argentina
4. Tanuja Singeetham, Vice President, Marketing, BEHR Paint, USA
5. Rupinder Dhillon, Director, AI and Machine Learning, Bell Canada, Canada
6. Harmeen Mehta, Chief Information Officer & Head Cloud and Security Business, Bharti Airtel, India
7. Lorna Russell, Senior Manager, Product Management, BMC Software, USA
8. Walkiria Schirrmeister Marchetti, CIO, Bradesco, Brazil
9. Keiko Konno, General Manager, Service Planning & Development Division, BRIDGE International Corp., Japan
10. Sabine Scheunert, Vice President Digital & IT Sales/Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG, Germany
11. Ona Juodkiene, Co-Head of IT Operations, Danske Bank, Denmark
12. Maren Reinsch, Head of Sales & Services, DB Dialog, Germany
13. Siewchoo Soh, Managing Director, DBS Bank, Singapore
14. Claudia Pohlink, Head of Artificial Intelligence, Deutsche Telekom/ T-Labs, Germany
15. Dr. Xiaojun Huang, Senior Advisor Upstream Digital Transformation, ExxonMobil, USA
16. Donna Hill, Assistant Director, Service, Configuration & Continuity Management, The George Washington University, USA
17. Jaki Lynn Van Valin, Director Data Management & Analytics, Harley-Davidson, USA
18. Victoria Stasiewicz, Global Information Systems –Manager Information Management, Harley-Davidson, USA
19. Kyoka Nakagawa, Chief Engineer, Digital Solution Center, Digital Transformation Division, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Japan
20. Sara Hines, Director of Provider Experience & Connectivity, Humana, USA
21. Seema Gaur, Executive VP & Head IT, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company, India
22. Elenita Elinon, Executive Director Quantitative Research, JP Morgan Chase & Company, USA
23. Kelly Combs, Director, Emerging Technology Risk, KPMG LLP, USA
24. Hye-young Kim, Director of Artificial Intelligence, LOTTE Shopping, South Korea
25. Carmen Suarez, Assistant Director, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
26. Yimei Guo, Managing Director, Global Head of Research Technology, Morgan Stanley, USA
27. Gail Blum, Manager, Talent Acquisition Operations, NBCUniversal, USA
28. Sandra Cascadden, Associate Deputy Minister/CIO, Government of Nova Scotia, Canada
29. Pat Maqetuka, Chief Data Architecture & Operations Officer, Nedbank, South Africa
30. Severine Marquay, AI experience, digital support & innovation, Orange France, France
31. Rachel Cordrey, Pharmacy Supervisor, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, USA
32. MaryAnn Fleming, Head of Services, Home Buying and Ownership, RBS, UK
33. Erin Oles, Senior Director, R+F Virtual Live, Rodan + Fields, USA
34. Carolyn Staats, Director of Innovation, Information Systems Department, Sonoma County, USA
35. Jennifer Edgin, CTO, Deputy Commandant Information, U.S. Marine Corps, USA
36. Lee Hatton, CEO, UBank, Australia
37. Tanja Richter, Director, Consumer Products and Services, Vodafone, UK
38. Laura Bellamy, Director, Information Experience, VMWare, USA
39. Yu Ching Lan, Department Manager, Walsin Lihwa Corp., Taiwan
40. Shelley Kalms, Chief Digital Officer, Woodside Energy, Australia
Notable quotes include:
“I am passionate for change, to transform current conditions and keep evolving – both in my personal and professional life,” said Walkiria Schirrmeister Marchetti, CIO, Banco Bradesco. “It’s such an honor and great pleasure to be recognized on behalf of Bradesco team efforts for our AI innovation initiatives.”
“I am honored to be included in this distinguished group of women who are pioneers in the development and use of AI,” said Tanuja Singeetham, Vice President, Marketing, BEHR Paint. “AI gives us a unique opportunity to grow our businesses by helping us offer consumers more personalized recommendations and solutions in a scalable way that respects their privacy. It is an exciting time to be a female in marketing and I hope we are laying the foundation for the future jobs of women tomorrow.”
“We are in a transformative period of innovation,” said Lorna Russell, Senior Manager, Product Management, BMC Software. “AI will continue to change how we live and work and in my industry, it is changing traditional IT service management into a more intelligent, conversational and predictive service management. On behalf of a much larger team at BMC, I am honored to be recognized as part of that change.”
“It is a great pleasure to be given such an honorable opportunity,” said Keiko Konno, General Manager, Service Planning & Development Division, BRIDGE International Corp. “The keys to success of our AI project, which supports the company’s inside sale business, include having rich data and clear visions enabling us, as a medium-sized company, to further improve customer experience.”
“I am proud to be a leader in driving the implementation of AI applications across the Daimler Group,” said Sabine Scheunert, Vice President Digital & IT Marketing/Sales, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG. “We are sourcing AI opportunities along the entire value chain to support our daily work and expand our offering to customers through efficiencies and automation. In fact, Ask Mercedes, our AI chatbot, supports around 60,000 phone calls per year, delivering a much easier and streamlined experience for customers.”
“It is an honor to be recognized on behalf of Honda R&D Big Data project teams and practitioners for our work with IBM’s AI, Watson,” said Kyoka Nakagawa, Chief Engineer, Digital Solution Center, Digital Transformation Division, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. “Bringing AI to the real world requires a thoughtful approach of complementing the work of humans. That’s what we are good at, and I believe we can bring more joy to the world.”
“What I’ve learned from my decades of experience in implementing new technology is that both the technology and the team supporting the technology are constantly learning,” said Sara Hines, Director of Provider Experience & Connectivity, Humana. “It’s exciting to be in a field that is always changing and growing, and to be a leader in AI, you have to be comfortable with that evolution and growth.”
“It is a great honour to be recognised as one of the women pioneers in AI,” said Seema Gaur, Executive VP & Head IT, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company. “AI will definitely create a great impact on enhanced customer experience in the days to come.”
“The potential impact AI can have is great and the world is more digitally connected than ever before,” Kelly Combs, Director, Emerging Technology Risk, KPMG LLP. “But business leaders need to experience the benefits of AI, alongside full transparency around the use of data and process. Creating trust and responsible governance for AI is imperative so that we can create a seamless experience while also trusting the technology.”
“With the right data-driven strategy, AI and machine learning can significantly transform businesses to become smarter and more efficient,” said Yimei Guo, Managing Director, Global Head of Research Technology, Morgan Stanley. “The key to success will be a close partnership between businesses, data scientists, and technologists—particularly because many solutions require multi-disciplinary expertise.”
“It is an honor to be recognized on behalf of Peninsula Regional Medical Center for our work with IBM’s artificial intelligence, Watson,” said Rachel Cordrey, Pharmacy Supervisor, Peninsula Regional Medical Center. “I am anxious to see healthcare evolve as AI continues to learn and develop.”
“It is an honor to be recognized on behalf of all the hard work conducted by Marines in the field of Artificial Intelligence,” said Jennifer Edgin, CTO, Deputy Commandant Information, U.S. Marine Corps.