Female AI decision-makers a priority for 37% of UK business leaders

5th June 2024
Sheryl Miles

Thirty-seven per cent of UK business leaders believe encouraging women into decision-making positions is increasingly important in the era of artificial intelligence, according to research from IBM.

Almost three-quarters of business leaders surveyed considered it important to have more female leaders to prevent bias in AI development and ensure equal benefits from its adoption.

Nicola Hodson Chief Executive of IBM UK & Ireland stated in the report: "Amidst the rush to embrace the exciting possibilities of this technology, business leaders must consider human needs, and design a trustworthy, human-centric AI system with governance at its core-that is aligned with the values and principles of the society or community it serves.

"Ensuring that diverse teams develop and deploy AI makes the output of those systems more likely to represent all part of society and limit bias."

Sixty-nine per cent of business leaders believe having more women in decision-making roles would help distribute AI's benefits more evenly across the economy and society.

But the 37% of UK businesses that view getting women into leadership roles as a priority was the lowest figure among the markets surveyed by IBM across EMEA, with 51% being the average across the region.

Just over 32% of business leaders reported already having a women in a position with decision-making power around AI, while many organisations claim they are working to increase diversity, more than half said it was not a formal priority.

Antonia Walt, Chief of Client Experience, AND Digital, commented: "Business leaders prioritising the inclusion of women in decision-making roles, particularly as AI is continuing to become increasingly influential, is a significant step towards creating a more representative tech environment."

"But while it's encouraging that UK business leaders are highlighting the need for increasing female representation in leadership roles, it is concerning that this is the lowest across EMEA. Many businesses are encouraging women to enter the tech field, but they must also focus on retaining them. To solve the impending skills crisis and enhance diversity, we need to not only attract more women into tech, but also ensure they have opportunities to grow and lead."

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