Does AI advance gender equality? - A panel on The Effects of AI on the Working Lives of Women

Does AI advance gender equality? - A panel on The Effects of AI on the Working Lives of Women

Societies and economies need to prepare for the future of work by considering the influence of technology and its impact on gender equality. Globally, studies show that women in the labor force are paid less, hold fewer senior positions and participate less in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. A 2019 UNESCO report found that women represent only 29% of science R&D positions globally and are already 25% less likely than men to know how to leverage digital technology for basic uses.

As the use and development of AI continues to mature, it’s time to ask: What will tomorrow’s labor market look like for women? Are we effectively harnessing the power of AI to narrow gender equality gaps, or are we letting these gaps perpetuate, or even worse, widen?  

These questions are more important than ever as AI begins to impact many areas of the employment lifecycle. By changing the types of skills the labour market demands, impacting how jobs are posted and employees are hired, and transforming work environments and opportunities for career progression, AI is impacting the working lives of women. Although much remains unknown about precisely how these transformations will occur, it is crucial that women are not left behind in the future of work.   

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 and in conjunction with the launch of the joint report by UNESCO-IDB-OECD “The effects of Artificial Intelligence on the working lives of women”, this virtual panel discussion will map the unique opportunities and challenges that AI presents for the working lives of women and address the three overarching topics highlighted in the report:   

  • The changing skills requirements in the labour market;  
  • The effects of AI on women entering the labour force; and,    
  • The impacts of AI on women’s work environment and career progression.  

The panelists, who come from different backgrounds and expertise, will share their insights and experiences on the challenges and opportunities in these specific areas as it relates to the effects of AI on the working lives of women.  

Moving towards achieving gender equality, what is certain is that a challenge of such magnitude will require strong collaboration between governments, technical communities, civil society, trade unions, the private sector and institutions. This event brings them together and provides a platform for knowledge exchange and collaborative discussion to explore some of the biggest challenges ahead in the future of work.   

The discussion will be based on Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s new joint report “The Effects of AI on the Working Lives of Women”. The report is intended to raise general awareness on the disruptions of AI during the workforce lifecycle from a gender perspective. 


Opening Remarks
Tawfik Jelassi
Assistant Director-General, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO
Ulrik Knudsen
OECD Deputy Secretary-General 
Keynote Presentation by Moderator:
Gina Neff
Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology & Democracy at the University of Cambridge and Member of the Women4AI Daring Circle
Marta Ochoa
Director of Youth and Senior Coordinator Equal Opportunities, UNI Global Union
Dorothy Gordon
Chair, Information for All Programme & Board Member of the Institute for Information Technologies in Education, UNESCO
Livia Gouvea Gomes
Labor Markets Expert, IDB
Tamara Dancheva
Senior Manager for International Relations, GSMA
Dirk Meyer
Head of Directorate-General on Global health, private sector, trade and rural development, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development


Interpretation in Spanish will be available for this event.  


The Effects of AI on the Working Lives of Women