Reflections on extending human capability with AI

AI and laptop

This week we were asked to share some info about a talk and we hadn’t actually spotted this seminar series before so thought it would be of interest to you all (sign up here).

Guest talk by Cecily Morrison: Reflections on extending human capability with AI: the PeopleLens case study

About this event

Abstract: HCI has taken a strong stance that AI technologies augment or extend human-capabilities rather than mimic or replace them. This talk considers what extending human capability with AI might mean in practical terms and the challenges that arise. I draw upon examples designing and building out the PeopleLens, an AI experience intended to helps blind and low vision children understand who is in their immediate vicinity.

Bio: Cecily is a researcher in the Future of Work community at Microsoft Research Cambridge interested in developing novel technologies to enable people’s health and well-being in the broadest sense. Put simply, Cecily wants to build technologies that matter to people.

Cecily’s research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence. Working in a cross-disciplinary collaboration, her current focus is on AI applications for those with visual disabilities. Cecily is exploring the interaction paradigms between people and agents that can be brought to bear to extend human capability through subtle dialogues with agents that see.

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Women in Tech Report

Report Card

TrustRadius 2021 Women in Tech Report

We spotted this which may be of interest to companies with EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) groups and looking for some information on how the women are faring during the current pandemic.

The Women in Tech Report includes 50+ new statistics and quotes on gender equality in the workplace. Topics include barriers to promotion and unconscious bias.

  • 57% of women in tech feel burned out at work this year, compared to 36% of men.
  • Women in tech are nearly twice as likely as men to have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to the pandemic. 
  • Women are divided on whether remote work has helped or hurt women in tech. 42% say it’s had a negative impact, 41% say the impact has been positive, and 17% say there’s been no impact.
  • 72% of women in tech have worked at a company where bro culture is pervasive. That average includes 83% of women in sales, 80% of women in marketing, and 63% of women in IT/engineering.
  • The majority (72%) of women in tech are regularly outnumbered by men in business meetings by at least a 2:1 ratio. 26% of women report being outnumbered by 5:1 or more.
  • 78% of women in tech feel they have to work harder than their coworkers to prove their worth.
  • Women in tech are 4X more likely than men to see gender bias as an obstacle to promotion. 39% of women see gender bias as a barrier to promotion in 2021.
  • Women of color are less confident than white women about their promotion prospects—and that gap has increased by 3X over the past year.
  • 37% of women of color in tech feel that racial bias is a barrier to promotion.
  • To help support women in tech, 78% of women say companies should promote more women into leadership positions. Other solutions include:
    • Providing mentorship opportunities (72%)
    • Offering flexible scheduling (64%)
    • Conducting unconscious bias training (57%)
    • Offering equal maternity and paternity leave (55%)
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Gender disparity in computing

Reprogramming ENIAC

Interesting Insights

We found this piece this week of interest – it’s a key piece of research and we really need to involve the whole of industry to fix it. (apologies for a picture of a guy with an iPad as its theirs). You can download the research on the link!

Key findings

  • 70% of employers anticipate a shortage, with almost a quarter (24%) expecting it to greatly impact their recruitment
  • The greatest shortages will be felt in Yorkshire (73%), London (62%) and the North (55%)
  • According to CTOs, Cyber Security (56%), BI & Data Management (41%) and Software Development (35%) are the most sought after skills this year.
  • Two-thirds (36%) of technology hiring managers believe the recruitment process takes too long, with more than a quarter (27%) facing competition for candidates who receive multiple job offers
  • Nearly 8 in 10 technology candidates search for their next opportunity on online job boards, however only 28% of employers are currently adopting this recruitment strategy
  • More than half of employers find candidates lack the right technical skills necessary for technology positions
  • Over 20% of technology employers highlight they need to encourage more females into the sector
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Meet our new candidate of the week

Job Candidates

Candidate of the week

After some discussions in the early days of Women’s Tech Hub we found out that many of our members do not have linkedIn profiles. We were interested to find out why, so after some preliminary research i.e. we asked them why they didn’t use the platform, we came to the conclusion that they mainly saw it as a job search site. They feared that being on it whilst in a job may make it appear to their company that they were looking to leave and therefore risk their job security.

We were then asked by a company why the men were on linkedIn, to which we said “do you want to google that or shall we do that for you?” (we can be a bit sarcastic at times when we feel that getting us to google something when they can’t be bothered is akin to asking us to make the tea). The answer we came back with, after yet again not a very thorough or convincing piece of research, was that the men said they liked their boss to know that they are always available for other opportunities as it makes their bosses value them and pay them a competitive rate.

So there we have it – a non-exhaustive or very wide-ranging not really research questioning basically informed us that women would prefer an anonymised version of LinkedIn hence our candidate’s page was born. They may have mentioned something negative about annoying recruiters and being hit on also btw, but the anonymity solves that too.

We’ve decided that we want to start showing off about the great women we have as members who are looking to change companies/careers/city or returning to the industry after a family career break. So here’s this weeks Candidate of the week

Black Lab
Candidate picture replaced with random Dog pic .. cute isn’t it?
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Whats the problem with …

Woman being interviewed

Recruitment?

We’ve been having talks with women working in tech over the years and discussing the issues they face, we’ve decided that its worth having a wider conversation to help people have awareness of some of them. To start off we are tackling the Recruitment process both internal recruitment processes and external recruitment companies appear to have or are blockers for our women. We were really first made aware of this at our tech3shed recruitment fair where we were talking to the managers/CTO’s/CEO’s who attended and were bemused by how astonished they were by the number of high-quality female candidates they were seeing. Apparently they were not seeing them at all when they were recruiting, and when we spoke to the women it wasn’t like they hadn’t been applying. So the question for you all is – what’s actually blocking them? ……. We don’t have all the answers but check out this piece to start off your thinking on the interview process for those that do get that far.

Women Tech Founders

Holiday slippers on beach

… have run off on holiday but assured us that they will be back in September. As with everything we are still available for 121’s if you send us a message on info@wthub.org, we can arrange a call or zoom.

Jobs

Robot searching for a job

We have new Jobs coming in every week for those of you looking check out our Jobs Board. For Companies looking for diverse candidates then please also check out our candidates page as we also have new members on there every week.

Check out this one for example – its supports remote working, is a charity and is bending over backwards to create an inclusive team. They are also upskilling in house to keep their employees careers moving, if we had a checklist for suitable companies they would have passed – solutions-developer.

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