Masdar News

WiSER white paper highlights impact of artificial intelligence on gender parity in sustainability sector

07 Jun 2020
Reports, WiSER, Strategic Platforms

Masdar’s ‘Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy’ (WiSER) strategic initiative has produced a white paper on artificial intelligence and its impact on gender parity in the sustainability sector. The paper builds on discussions held during the 2020 WiSER Forum, one of the key events of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

More than 100 people, including  government ministers, senior business leaders, technical experts and youth representatives, attended the 2020 Forum, which was held under the theme of “Digitalization, artificial intelligence and the new digital economy: opportunities and challenges in promoting female inclusion.”

Participants considered how the responsible use of digital technologies could break down various barriers to barriers to female inclusion, such as inadequate training, limited access to financing, inflexible work environments, limited engagement with decision makers, and other obstacles that were highlighted in the ‘WiSER: Making Her Story Count in Sustainability’ white paper published in 2019.

“Artificial Intelligence + Gender Parity: A WiSER Perspective” highlight the key perspectives, observations and conclusions that arose from the 2020 WiSER Forum, and provides a set of recommendations to help address the key issues. The white paper also includes profiles of three countries with very distinct approaches to, and histories of, gender parity – namely, India, Rwanda, and the United Arab Emirates.

“Artificial intelligence is already pervasive in society, and its use is only going to increase – some of us may already have more conversations on a daily basis with a digital persona than we do with a human being. Decisions made in the digital world already have real-world impact; an AI system may decide if you are invited to be interviewed for a job, are eligible for a loan, or can receive medical treatment,”  Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director for Brand & Strategic Initiatives at Masdar and Program Director of WiSER, says in the white paper.

“However, as has been said, there is nothing artificial about artificial intelligence – the digital tools that are impacting our world were built by human beings, with human biases.

“If we are not careful, the proliferation of AI could turn the gender gap into a chasm: as AI technologies become more entrenched in society, governments, businesses, and other stakeholders must invest to ensure that women and girls are involved in their development and are equipped to leverage them effectively.”

To download the white paper, please click here.