UNIDO publishes report: Gender, Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence

UNIDO is delighted to announce the launch of a new publication titled “Gender, Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence”, a product of the collaboration of contributors from the UNIDO Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Unit (COR/GEW), the UNIDO Digital Transformation and AI Strategies Division (TCS/DAS), the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, and the Western Norway Research Institute. The report benefited from the input of external experts from a range of international institutions and corporations, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the University of Lausanne, Cisco Systems, Inc., and VigyanShaala International.

The issue of addressing and closing gender gaps extends far beyond the realm of human rights. On the economic front, closing gender gaps can yield benefits by expanding markets, enabling access to a broader talent pool, and providing solutions to skills shortages. With a more gender-diverse workforce, companies can improve their financial performance by tapping into a wider array of perspectives and skills, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and creativity. In terms of social benefits, bridging the digital gender gap can help to prevent the perpetuation and reinforcement of inherent bias and power dynamics, thereby contributing to the emergence of a more egalitarian society.

The recent publication accentuates the myriad opportunities digital technologies and AI present for women in terms of leadership, participation, and benefits stemming from technological advancements. It also raises concerns about the potential pitfalls these technologies could bring without the presence of enabling policies, including the risk of exacerbating the economic and social exclusion of women and other vulnerable groups. A significant portion of the report is devoted to policies and strategies aimed at fostering gender equality amidst the rapid digital transformation. AI, being a field of rapid growth, is at the center of this analysis, while other areas of technological innovation like additive manufacturing, big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, distributed ledger technology, robotics, unmanned autonomous vehicle systems, and quantum computers, have also been put under scrutiny.

Through an extensive examination of over 150 initiatives spanning five geographical regions (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe and others), the report formulates recommendations, which are designed to mainstream gender equality in the era of digital transformation. Additionally, the report delineates specific action areas and strategies, showcasing case studies ranging from international organizations investing in research to unravel gender disparities in technology sectors, development banks backing women-led enterprises, to the synergy between academic institutions and the private sector in enhancing skills development. It also highlights the commendable efforts of civil society organizations in promoting the digital inclusion of marginalized groups.

Read the report here 

For more information, please contact:

Cecilia Ugaz-Estrada, Director, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Unit

Email

Marco Kamiya, Chief, Digital Transformation and AI Strategies Division

Email

Disclaimer

Access to the information, documents, products and services contained in this website is provided as a public service by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).  The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of UNIDO or of the governments of UNIDO Member States and as such is not an official record.

All information available from this website is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis.  UNIDO makes no warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information.  Neither does it warrant that use of the information is free of any claims of copyright infringement.  Under no circumstances shall UNIDO be liable for any loss, damage, liability or expense incurred or suffered that is claimed to have resulted from the use of this website, including, without limitation, any fault, error, omission, computer virus, interruption or delay with respect thereto.  The use of this website is at the user’s sole risk.

Extracts from UNIDO material contained in this website may be freely used elsewhere provided that acknowledgement of the source is made. If the material indicates that the information (including photos and graphics) is from a source or site external to UNIDO, permission for reuse must be sought from the originating organization.

UNIDO cannot and does not guarantee the authenticity of documents on the Internet. Links to non-UNIDO sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data, or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided.  Links to non-UNIDO websites are provided solely as a pointer to information on topics that may be useful to UNIDO staff, Member States and the public.

The use of particular designations of countries or territories does not imply any judgement by UNIDO as to the legal status of such countries or territories, of their authorities and institutions or of the delimitation of their boundaries.

The mention of names of specific companies or products (whether or not indicated as registered) does not imply any intention to infringe proprietary rights, nor should it be construed as an endorsement or recommendation on the part of UNIDO.

Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or a waiver of the privileges and immunities of UNIDO, which are specifically reserved.