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Men outpace women in GenAI use global study claims

Men outpace women in generative AI use across every age group, according to a global survey comprising 25 000 employees. 59% of male workers aged 18 – 65 around the world say they use generative AI tools at least once a week, while only 51% of women say the same. These disparities persist across age groups and 16 geographies studied, management consultancy Oliver Wyman says. Among actions recommended is to grow the ranks of women in tech roles where many AI decisions are made. 

The gap is widest among the youngest of workers: 71% of men ages 18-24 say they usemoon

generative AI weekly, compared with 59% of women. 

“Left unaddressed, this disparity could not only magnify gender imbalances in traditional “pink collar” occupations susceptible to automation, such as customer service, education and healthcare, but also limit opportunities for women in the occupations of the future, Ana Kreacic, Chief Operating Officer and Terry Stone, Managing Partner at the consultancy, write in a blog post for World Economic Forum.

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“By providing more upskilling, creating a shared vision with workers, broadening IT teams and inviting leaders of business units and Generation Z “superusers” to the discussion, leaders can encourage more women to embrace generative AI.”

Almost all employees recognize the importance of generative AI, even if they aren’t using it yet.” 

The survey shows that 98% say they need to be upskilled over the next five years due to AI disruption. 77% of white-collar workers, 74% of blue collars and 71% of pink collars say employer support would make them feel more comfortable using AI at work.

However, according to the survey, business leaders believe only 40% of their workforce actually needs such upskilling. 

“That disconnect creates anxiety for workers wondering how generative AI might disrupt or eliminate their job functions.”

The consultancy says women often are more reluctant than men to spend time or money on additional training — even when it is crucial to their careers. Cost is one factor; another is time, which is a valuable commodity for people juggling family and household responsibilities.

“Companies that provide a range of opportunities, from in-person to virtual, from team to independent, and across various levels and use cases will get better engagement from women. This will be especially helpful to women in jobs more likely to be disrupted by AI.”

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“In most companies, AI strategy, budget and accountability are housed within the IT department, where female representation is typically low. The IT function is critical to create and enable changes, but business leaders also need to get more familiar with the technology and explore its possibilities.”

“Generative AI presents an opportunity for Gen Zers, already likely to be more familiar with the technology, to connect with and teach older colleagues about it.” 

“Here’s an opportunity for Gen Z women not only to lead but to create wider awareness and help train their colleagues. As the technology becomes more embedded and mainstream, businesses can show that a diversity of voices and genders are helping to lead the discussion.”

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