Women in Data announce plans to launch data curiosity programme in India

World Saturday 18/March/2023 08:26 AM
Women in Data announce plans to launch data curiosity programme in India

Geneva: On the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) 52nd General Session in Geneva Women in Data (WiD) announced plans to launch its data curiosity programme in India in coordination with the Centre For Global Affairs and Public Policy (CGAPP),

The programme seeks to stem the Gender Gap in STEM fields and add more women to the workforce in these sectors. India has made strides in achieving gender parity in STEM graduates, but the proportion of women working in these sectors is lower, informed the Geneva Women in Data. Women make up 34 per cent of the workforce in the Indian IT sector, with most of them being under the age of 30. The Data Curiosity Program intends to encourage girls aged 12-16 years to take up careers in data and STEM fields.

CGAPP and WiD also held a roundtable conference to discuss Sustainability Enablement Through Technology. The roundtable brought together representatives from Civil Society, Business, Government and Foundations. Several tech-enabled sustainability projects from India were discussed, such as the Inspection as a Service (IaaS) module developed by TCS which uses an AI engine to monitor toilet sanitation in over 45,000 schools in India.

Participants also shared ideas about other use cases for the technology in development, such as the use of AI and Machine Learning for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) norms, Health, Re-skilling and Education.

Dinanath Kholkar, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Partner Ecosystems and Alliances at TCS, delivered the inaugural address at the conference congratulating WiD and CGAPP for organising the event. He acknowledged the importance of discussing stories of development through technology from across the world and looking for new use cases.

In her remarks, Sudeshna Choudhury, Director, PE&A, TCS pointed out that the benefits of having more women in the workforce are often ignored. She shared a case study of Inspection as a Service from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where a TCS-developed AI model is being used to track sanitary conditions in school toilets.

Director, CGAPP Anindya Sengupta noted that as G-20 chair, India has identified a set of priority areas, which include tech-enabled development in sectors ranging from agriculture to education and the promotion of digital public infrastructure. Stories of technology from education, climate, health and development good need to be brought to the global platform, he said.

Sadie St. Lawrence, Founder and CEO, WiD, shared that addressing the Gender gap can add close to 35% to the global GDP according to the World Economic Forum. She also emphasised the need for reskilling for women as climate change and other challenges lead to changes in the labour market. Lawrence talked about various initiatives of WiD to address gender disparity through their programs.

Various sector experts also discussed innovative uses of AI in their fields ranging from climate sustainability, energy transition, health, and other areas.

Tatyana Kanzaveli, Founder and CEO, Open Health Network, Maria Hutcheson, Head of Growth, TheMathCompany, Shuchi Rana, Global Head of Whitespace, ServiceNow, Veronica Grasso, Scientific and Program Officer, World Meteorological Organization & Navin Rauniar, Sustainability Partner, Tata Consultancy Services took part in the roundtable and shared their sectoral insights & case studies and discussed other potential areas where technology can be leveraged for development with other attendees.