Did you know that 1911 was the very first year International Women’s Day was commemorated to celebrate women and challenge anything that threatened gender equality?
Although times have changed, the world is still not where it needs to be. Women have the right to vote but are still fighting for women’s universal sexual and reproductive rights. Women can now work but a fight for gender equality and inclusion remains. Today, opportunities are vast but women still lack equal access and on a daily basis, challenge stereotypes.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “breaking the bias” builds off the work and fight that started hundreds of years ago and challenges everyone to confront any form of gender, ethnic or/and racial bias.
But what is bias?
In the words beautifully spoken by Anisa Nandaula, “Bias is a wall. Every word is a brick and saliva, cement; hardening the way that we think about gender or a group of people. (Bias is) A wall that separates us from the fact that we are all equal.” We at Macro-Eyes agree.
As a leading organization in innovative technology with a workforce that is presently 50% female working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and global development, Macro-Eyes pledges to join the globe in breaking down the wall of bias.
Breaking the Bias in STEM
At Macro-Eyes, we recognize that diversity and inclusion is key to solving complex global challenges and so, “addressing gender disparity isn’t just a question of striving for equality or fairness. It’s imperative for problem solving,” says Misha Sra, Assistant Professor, Director Perceptual Engineering Lab, Computer Science Department, UCSB and Macro-Eyes Special Advisor. "Imagine the Covid-19 pandemic without Sarah Gilbert’s discovery of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine or Katalin Kariko’s invention of the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?" Misha added.
"As we tackle the tremendous health challenges facing our world, we need more women leading and contributing to STEM." ~ Amie Batson, Executive Director WomenLift Health and Macro-Eyes Special Advisor."
Commenting on the importance of female representation in STEM, Amie Baston added that “today, women are still pushed out of STEM fields at all ages. When women have fewer opportunities to innovate, there is a direct impact on health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.”
Megan Beckett, Data Analyst at Macro-Eyes added that “We are rapidly advancing towards a time where technology is deeply intertwined into the core of who we are and how we define ourselves as a species. What are the implications for the future of the whole human race if that technology is largely developed by a single (male) gender?
Breaking the Bias at Macro-Eyes.
Inspired by this year's theme, we asked our female staff to tell us why they work for Macro-Eyes and how they are breaking the bias. Here are a few responses;
Tenly Snow, Director of Communication said, “I work at Macro-Eyes because our leadership puts actions behind words, creating a truly inclusive workplace for diversity of all kinds. I will #BreakTheBias by showing my daughter that her future has value and her gender should never be an obstacle to pursuing her dreams.”
“I work at Macro-Eyes to influence how AI models get built for health. I am thrilled to be working alongside talented machine learning scientists and engineers who are generating AI models for global health.” Ashley Schmidit, Senior Program Manager, Macro-Eyes
"Women are leaders, scientists, storytellers, and change makers. We #breakthebias every single day by checking in with these truths. I work at Macro-Eyes because from day one it was made clear to me there are no barriers to success nor limits to what we can do when we build a team based on inclusivity, diversity, and brilliance." Jeni Stockman, Senior Program Manager, Macro-Eyes
“I work for Macro-Eyes because I am a mom”, said Ruth M’kala, “a mom who has the best of both worlds - a career in a complex, challenging BUT fulfilling sector and a present mom raising her child. I work for Macro-Eyes because they’ve enabled and supported me to do it all. I am a mom who is #BreakingTheBias.”
Johanna Sundberg, Machine Learning Scientist said, “I believe in building tech that improves the lives of women around the globe. Representation matters and I strive to #BreakTheBias and inspire other women to pursue challenging, but worthwhile, careers in tech.”
For International Women's Day and beyond, Macro-Eyes will continue working towards shaping a world and future free of stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
“One of the aspects I really love about working at Macro-Eyes is the general diversity of our team and specifically, the machine learning operations team which is currently 4 women. This is highly unusual in our field. I love the fact that we are proactively breaking the stereotype while doing amazing work together.” Megan Beckett, Data Analyst, Macro-Eyes
Join us in breaking the wall of bias because whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knock down the wall brick (ideas) by brick (assumptions) and take the required action to level the playing field.
“Gender diversity in tech(and everywhere else) matters as it ensures the next generations don't grow up with the same stereotypes we faced. It ensures that younger generations have role models they can look up to, and this in turn helps to ensure the gendered stereotypes don't carry on to future generations.” Jean Githae, Data Analyst, Macro-Eyes
Fight bias.Challenge stereotypes. Elevate and empower. Recognize and celebrate women’s achievements everywhere. Help forge a gender equal world. #BreakTheBias
"I will break the gender bias by promoting the use of gender-sensitive language and communication. I will also not attend any only-male conferences or panels." ~Derya Sever, Supply Chain Technical Product Manager, Macro-Eyes.
Would you like to join our team? Please visit our careers page for more information on current vacancies.