Inclusion, Diversity, Technology, and Women’s Empowerment
International Women’s Day
Written by Bruna de Castro e Silva
Doctoral Researcher, Tampere University
Responsible AI Lead, Women in AI Finland
On International Women’s Day, March 8, we celebrate the resilience, strength, and power of women across the world. Women are breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and paving the way for future generations to thrive. As we celebrate the progress made so far, it is important to acknowledge that there is still a long way to go. Women continue to face discrimination, harassment, and inequality, and it is our collective responsibility to work towards a world where women are truly equal.
Moving to Finland was a challenging and exciting experience. I am incredibly fortunate and privileged to have found resources and opportunities to support my professional and personal growth, and that allowed me to contribute to gender equality and to uplift other women in my community.
At my workplace at Tampere University, I have joined the Network for International Academics and Staff, providing peer support for international newcomers. It is immeasurably valuable to actively seek out communities like this, which can help you feel empowered and connected to others who share similar experiences. We need more initiatives alike so everyone in Tampere can bring a unique perspective and set of experiences to their workplace, social circles, and other spaces.
As a Legal researcher working on the fascinating intersection of law and technology, I investigate the risks and opportunities for human rights posed by artificial intelligence (AI). Among existent inequalities, gender inequality intensively manifests itself in the phenomenon of digitalization, as the datafication of society negatively affects underrepresented groups in the design and development of technology the most, including women.
Responsible innovation must consider the deepening relationship between technology and society, equally providing benefits and opportunities for all. Therefore, Responsible AI is at the heart of my research and work. To apply my expertise and skills making a positive impact on gender equality, I have joined Women in AI (WAI) Finland, a non-profit organization that brings together leading women working with AI, Big Data, and digitalization. These women are changemakers who strive for more inclusion and justice in our society.
I can safely say that one of the most inspiring aspects of these experiences so far is the opportunity to highlight the voices of women who are thriving in our communities and in society at large, realizing their full potential, and making a significant impact in their fields. However, there is still work to be done. We must continue to work towards a world where women are truly equal, and where their voices are heard and valued. Let us celebrate all women and commit to supporting them in their quest for a more equitable world.
First photo: Jonne Renvall, Tampere University
Second photo: Matti Algren, Aalto University