Better gender-positive workplace policies are attracting more women to the Data Science space, with a significant percentage of women believing there are more opportunities for them in the Artifical Intelligence (AI) and Analytics field now when compared to five years ago, according to a survey.
However, these women who took part in the survey also believe that differences in pay between genders and other biases still exist on a large scale in the work industry, according to the results.
The survey by ed-tech company Great Learning found that while 54 per cent women said there are more opportunities for them in AI than five years ago, 27 per cent believe that equal growth and pay for the same level of experience and education will encourage more women.
The survey was done online among 2,000 women from the Data Science industry during August.
The top five factors cited for the rise in work and growth opportunities include positive workplace policies, greater participation of women in the hiring process, favourable recruitment policies, lesser bias towards women, and presence of more role-models for women than before, the survey highlighted.
However, lack of equal growth and pay for women in AI, continued to be a roadblock discouraging many qualified and experienced women from entering this domain, it added.
“As leaders in the professional education space, we have been buoyed by the growing interest among women towards learning data science. Increased participation of women is imperative if India has to become the hub of data science in the world. The growth opportunities that this space offers for any professional, are immense,” Great Learning Co-founder Hari Krishnan Nair said.
About 24 per cent respondents believed that women will be encouraged to enter this domain if they have greater awareness of the roles and the support that organisations now provide in terms of work-life policies, training and support.
Meanwhile, 17 per cent think having a mentoring and support ecosystem from school to universities to firms will encourage more women to enter AI and Analytics roles and 16 per cent said greater access to analytics education and seeing more women in leadership roles will encourage more women to join the industry, the survey pointed out.
When it comes to cities, Bengaluru leads by offering most opportunities to women in the data science space with 31 per cent respondents selecting it as the city with most opportunities, the survey found.
Bengaluru is followed by Delhi (NCR) and Mumbai, which are favoured by 10 per cent of respondents, while Hyderabad and Pune are preferred by 9 per cent of the respondents.
The remaining cities have single-digit preferences of 6 per cent or below, the survey said.
The large gap between Bengaluru and the rest of the cities is a result of the city’s ability to attract all kinds of organisations – technology companies, start-ups, engineering organisations, consulting firms, and IT firms, all of which deal with large amounts of data.
Bengaluru has emerged as the favoured destination for opportunities in AI, Deep Learning, NLP, and Analytics, it added.
As per the survey, the maximum women representation in the data science space comes from the vast Information Technology or ITES sector, represented by 36 per cent of the participants.
This is followed by the technology sector at 16 per cent. Pharma and healthcare is represented by 12 per cent of the participants.
(With inputs from agencies)