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人工知能分野で活躍している女性たち:マルチタスクができる女性に、ぜひ挑戦して欲しい!

Women that are actively pursuing her dream in Artificial Intelligence (AI) field: We are the multi-tasker and we can do it!

この記事はMedium.comで書いた上で、こちらで再投稿しました。

(English follows Japanese)

近年の日本女性のキャリアの事例として、大学時代は文系、社会人として事務職に就き、結婚、出産を機に退職、その後は非正規などで勤務時間に融通がきく形で働く、というのが典型的であると言えます。日本以外の国を見ると、出産後も、仕事はガンガンできるし、文系でも、人工知能の分野に挑んでいます。マルチタスクができる女性は、自信を持ち、この分野にも入り込むべきなのではないかと思います。

では、現在、この分野で活躍している世界中の女性の割合はどうなっているのでしょうか。

2016年に出版した経済産業省の 「IT人材の最新動向と将来設計に関する調査結果~報告書概要版~」によると、IT人材の4分の1が女性である。2018年の技術の女性ブログによると、技術職の女性は13%でした。他の先進国に比べると、日本の女性の活躍は非常に少ないのが現状です。オーストラリアの場合、技術職の女性は28%です。加えて、男性と女性の給料の差も、日本はアメリカとイギリスに比べて、非常に大きいです。

グラフは https://www.women-in-technology.com/wintec-blog/women-in-tech-by-countryから引用。

2017年3月時点で、Catalystの研究雑誌によると、科学技術の研究にかかわる女性は15.7%。

実は、科学技術を関わる女性、特に人工知能分野を支える団体があります。Women in AI(WAI)という世界初の人工知能の分野に関わっている女性の団体です。2016年から、パリを始め、現在約90か国で代表(アンバサダー)が活発な活動をしており、世界中に3000人以上のメンバーがいます。

Women in AIは人工知能分野に関わる女性を増やしたいという目的で設立され、グローバル社会に利益をもたらすジェンダーとAIの形成を目指しています。

日本のWomen in AIチームは下記です。

今年の3月に日本初のWAITalkを開催する予定です。場所はまだ未定ですが、関東地方で行う予定です。WAITalkのイベントでは、女性研究者・技術者によるスピーチ、ネットワーキングイベントを実施します。参加は無料です。

WAITalkの他に、WAITimeという定期的な勉強会(Meetup)を実施予定です。また女子の高校生・中学生を注目し、WAI2Goというキャンプも今年開催します。

他の国で行ったイベントは https://www.womeninai.co/のホームページで閲覧可能です。よりたくさんの女性技術者をとつながるために、Slackのワークスペースも用意されています。まずは、メンバー登録から!!

Women in AI の一番の特徴は、技術者、エンジニア、研究者だけではなく、AI企業で務めている人事の方、総務の方もメンバーになることができます。AIについて興味を持っている、AI企業に勤務している、AIを学びたい、メンバー登録をお待ちしています。

また、Women in AIのイベントをサポートしてくださる会社・教育機関も募集しています。お気軽にご相談ください。

(本記事は戸田 江里子さんと共同で書いたものです)

**The English Version starts from here**

Females in Japan are normally raised to become a full-time housewife and a normal office worker. Most of the females in university take the non-STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics) courses, then, when they work in a company, they will just become a clerk, secretary or anything non-engineering related works. When they get married and give birth to their children, most of these women are expected to stay at home and take care of their children. Sometimes, after the long maternity leave, most of these women are expected to leave their job or to be given less work. Compared to Japan, women in other countries can freely return to their work after their maternity leave. Even though these women are not from STEM backgrounds, they can also be a part of the artificial intelligence (AI) field. It is not strange to see women in the AI field in other countries. Women are known to be able to do multi-task works, so let’s be more confident and try to explore this field!

Now, let’s look at the statistics of how many women are currently involved in this field.

According to the report published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan in 2016 entitled “Survey Results on the Latest Trends and Future Estimates of IT Human Resources”, women only made up a quarter of IT related people. Women in Technology blog wrote an article to summarize the women in tech by country in 2018 shows that women only made up 13% of the STEM-related workforces in Japan despite being a country that rich with new technologies. A developed country like Australia has more than 25% of women in their STEM-related workforces. It was also found that the gender pay gap between males and females is more than 30% compared to the United States and the United Kingdom which have less than 20%.

Besides that, according to the research done by the Catalyst magazine in 2019, as of March 2017, only 15.7% of Japan’s researchers in science and technology were women.

Actually, there is an organization that currently supports the involvement of women in STEM, especially the AI field. This organization is known as Women in AI (WAI). WAI is first started in France, and now already has been established in more than 90 countries in the world. At the time of this writing, more than 3000 women have already registered as a member of WAI.

WAI aim at shaping gender-inclusive AI that benefits global society by increasing female representation and participation in AI.

Let me introduce the Women in AI Japan Team.

We are going to hold the first WAITalk on this March. The venue isn’t decided yet, but we are planning to have it in the Kantou region. The WAITalk is a 1-hour to a 3-hours event that starts with light talks by female AI researchers or engineers and is followed with a networking event. It is a free event, meaning that we won’t charge for any registration fee.

Besides WAITalk, we also have a WAITime which is a regular simple meetup either by online web conferencing or onsite cafe meetup. We are also going to hold a WAI2Go event for high-school or middle-school female students to learn the basics of AI.

If you want to know more about other countries' event in WAI, you may browse through the www.womeninai.co website. We also have Slack workspace for the members to stay connected with others. But, first of all,please register to become a member!!

The most interesting fact about WAI is, you don’t have to be an engineer or researcher in AI, if you are just working in AI company as a general worker like working in Human Resource department or the sales department, or you are just interested in AI, or you are just want to start learning the AI, you can become one of us!

We are also currently looking for any company or institution that would like to support our events. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

(This article is co-written with Ms Eriko Toda)

人工知能分野で活躍している女性たち:マルチタスクができる女性に、ぜひ挑戦して欲しい!
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