February marks the beginning of Black History Month, and we are eager to share some of our work at the intersections of diversity and digitalization. With support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, we established the Imagining a Digital Economy for All (IDEA) 2030 research initiative, where we explore, among other things, the barriers to and boosters of fair, equitable, and inclusive digitally enabled societies around the world.
Much of our research on the United States over the years highlights the need for greater inclusion and representation of Black technologists, improved digital access for Black students and families, and enhanced measures in the workplace to ensure the well-being and career advancement of minorities and Black people. While there is much work to be done, we strive to highlight actionable insights that register promising trends and potential for positive change. We’ve synthesized some insights below, but check out our website for more.
More recently, we noted that companies had made progress on employee diversity—for example, 5.3% of Google’s workforce identified as Black in 2020, a jump from just 2.5% in 2018. But these gains leave considerable room for improvement, as much of the diversity in tech is concentrated at the lower rungs of the corporate ladder. We counted this among the reasons that the Black workforce is susceptible to be disproportionately impacted by tech industry layoffs, emphasizing that companies genuinely committed to diversity can and should resist losses in diversity amid economic downturns. Because Black representation in tech talent pools lags behind all other minority groups, prioritizing retention and career mobility is paramount.
The African region holds many opportunities to harness the power of technology for the agriculture sector. Achieving this requires effective governance, access to data, a strong base of technological know-how, and lowered costs. Without this, the Implementation and sustainability of technological solutions may be difficult.
I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT
Using emerging technologies such as AI to help developing nations advance their timeline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON
My recent work aims at analyzing the use of artificial intelligence in agriculture across Africa. The purpose of the study is to understand who the main players are and elucidate how AI can increase yield for maximum profit if adopted more widely.
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