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University of Ottawa develops educational platform for women in AI

The partnership aims to level the playing-field when it comes to gender inequality in tech. 
2018-03-03 University of Ottawa1 MV
University of Ottawa logo, March 3, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

The University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI) is teaming up with MindBridge Ai, an AI-powered auditing company, and Willis College to address the gender issues that plague the artificial intelligence (AI) and Cybersecurity workforce.

“There is a real urgency in our need to be more innovative and targeted.  We can’t afford to have another generation of women excluded from an entire industry just because there is a perception that Cyber and AI are only open to men. Now is the time to engage women,” says Rima Aristocrat, the president and CEO of Willis College.

Women make up less than 20 percent of the workforce, which adds to the talent shortage and skills crisis both industries face. With this partnership, the three parties will work together to create an innovative learning platform that will allow women to improve their skills all while increasing the number of women in the two fields. Ultimately, the partnership would serve as a way to level the playing-field when it comes to gender inequality in tech.

“Incremental growth is unacceptable given the impact of exponential technologies and we must crack the code allowing more women to have progressive careers in AI and Cybersecurity,” says Leong.

According to Eli Fathi, MindBridge AI's CEO, the future of work, demands a technology-literate and fully inclusive workforce. He also states that given the speed at which the industry is changing, gender inequity is something that should be addressed. 

“With the influence and impacts that AI and Cybersecurity have on society, it's critical for industry to find ways to include women at all levels of the business,” says Fathi, adding, “Diverse workforces and leadership teams have proven to positively affect team culture, product quality, and the bottom line, and this initiative helps all of us achieve those goals.”

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