Breaking Barriers: Women in AI Making Strides in a Growing Industry
Women technologists are making significant contributions to Artificial Intelligence (AI), from developing new technologies to designing new tools.
We had the opportunity to meet with a recent new hire Frincy C., Principal of Data Scientist from ADP Canada. Frincy is the Canadian Ambassador for Women in Artificial Intelligence (WAI), a global community of women AI practitioners contributing towards increasing female representation in AI.
Q: What brings you to ADP?
A: As a woman technologist leading the Women in AI Canadian Chapter, I love connecting with others and building an inclusive future and responsible use of AI. I was looking for an environment where women technologists feel empowered, and ADP presented itself!
At ADP Canada, I am responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of Analytics Solutions and Decision Intelligence. It doesn’t hurt that ADP has one of the largest data sets in the industry. Here I have the chance to build models to solve business problems, manage, and monitor the data. This way we can show and produce the best results for our clients and for our future products.
Q: What does Data and AI mean to you?
A: When Data meets AI, there's the perfect balance between business and technical knowledge.
Today, every industry and every job is related to AI in one way or another. With AI in the picture, data scientists can utilize numbers with technologies to solve business problems. Nothing gives me more happiness than knowing the insights generated through my models or techniques bring positive impacts to society.
Q: Can you tell us about the recent award(s) you received?
A: I was awarded 2022 Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 by Women Executive Network, 2022 Advocate of the Year by Women in IT Awards, 2022 Women in AI Ambassador of the Year by Women in AI, and was featured in the 2023 TOP 100+ Women Advancing AI and Top 25 Women in AI Canada Edition by Re.Work.
Q: What do these awards mean to you?
A: Being recognized as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 is something I never imagined when I started my career in Data Science. As a young mother, a woman of color, and an immigrant, I came a long way and learned to break barriers for myself. Throughout my education and career in technical and business roles, I was always a minority in the room, whether by gender or as a woman of color. With continued efforts and hard work, I created space for myself and grew as a leader.
My proudest moment beyond receiving the award is to meet young girls, women of color, mothers, and everyday women who see a reflection of themselves in me. I realized everyone has something to offer, and nothing can stop us.
Q: What is a piece of advice for women pursuing Data and AI?
A: While there is a high demand in the field, I recommend doing some research before making a career decision.
Here are three places to start:
1) Research about AI Career
If you are passionate about working with data and making impactful decisions, a career in data and AI can be very fulfilling. The positions range from technical AI Engineers, Data Scientists to less technical AI Project Managers, Product Managers, and so on. Hence anyone can move into a career in AI by bridging the current roles with AI education/projects.
2) Right Mentor is a Doorway to Success
Find a mentor who can best support you in reaching your goals. LinkedIn and in-person networking events are great places to meet such mentors. Look for role models currently working in roles you wish to pursue in the long term and reach out to connect.
3) Find Your Community
Join an AI community to meet like-minded people. This will give you learning opportunities to build the AI ecosystem and organize meaningful programs.
Q: Speaking of mentorship, are there any cases where you were inspired by other women technologists?
A: Yes! There are two off the top of my mind. Once I met a young lady who helped WAI Canada with our marketing initiatives. She started a “Girls in AI” club with her high school classmates. I thought it was incredible that this young lady felt empowered and passionate enough about AI to influence others.
Another experience that filled my heart with joy was when I learned that one of our members got her current job in AI by regularly attending events and conferences. Helping women reach their career milestones is an incredible feeling.
Q: How do you plan to contribute to a better future for Women in STEM?
A: I joined ADP's International Women's Inclusion Network (iWIN) Business Resource Group (BRG) and wish to bring positive influence to the local community.
During International Women's Month, iWIN opens nominations for Ambassadors for Change each year. The Program highlights associates who embody the International Women's Month theme. This year’s theme is Embrace Equity, and I was honored to be nominated along with 21 other exceptional individuals. Our goal is to make ADP a healthier, more inclusive workplace. Watch Now: iWIN's 2023 Ambassadors for Change
I found my community here and will continue driving the mission to engage, equip, and empower others around me.
Do you want to build a better environment for AI?