We live in changing times, with a
transforming dynamic in the workplace. Skillsets required for the future will
mainly revolve around technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Yet, female
integration in the tech sphere has been lagging, as per numerous reports. An
evident gender gap exists in STEM industries, which has prompted experts to
push for the inclusion of women in the startup ecosystem and especially, the
realm of technology.
In Lebanon, there has been a
reported increase in the diversity and equality seen
amongst Lebanese entrepreneurs. More and more women are founding companies
specialized in education, medicine, data analytics, FinTech, engineering, tech
and others. However, statistics by World Economic Forum in the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 shows that Lebanon’s
global gender gap ranked 136 out of 149 countries in economic participation and
opportunity in 2018.
As indicated in the Global Gender
Gap Report, the gender gap remains outsized in economic participation and opportunity.
On a global scale, only 58% of this gap has been closed, with minimal progress
achieved since 2017, with 19 countries mainly from the MENA region that have
yet to close over 50% of their existent gender gap.
Nonetheless, with the rapid
transformations happening in the present and future workforce, part of this
analysis reviewed the gender gap particularly in AI - a significantly demanded
skill of the future in technological businesses. As a result, the World
Economic Forum collaborated with LinkedIn, to discover that female AI
professionals only compose of 22% of the total global specialists on their
platform, compared to 78% who are male. The results of the report reflected a
low incorporation of females within the candidate profiles database, even in
countries and industries with fairly high make-up of women within their base of
Exposing a substantial missed
opportunity in a significant specialization is one part of the story, countered
with the already scarce supply of qualified professionals in this domain,
especially in the MENA region. The outcomes of this finding are inclusive and
require vital action.
As technology and AI progressively
advance and grow to become a vital skillset, both women and men need to hone
their skills to be relevant and competitive in the future workplace.