• Irma Rastegayeva

Reflections on Diversity and Inclusion, part 2: Empowering Women in Tech, Health & Life Sciences

In this 2-part blog series, Irma Rastegayeva and Evan Kirstel of eViRa Health share their experiences with and reflections on two recent events. In part 1, they summarize several take-aways from Include 2021 and their coverage of the event. Here, they recap the Twitter Chat they hosted on Empowering Women and highlight main points from the robust online discussions around these topics.


As part of our work, we attend many conferences and events, speaking, leading panels and workshops as well as regularly covering events and conferences on social media. In March, the International Women’s Month, we had the pleasure of contributing to two events that differed from the typical topics we engage with. On March 17 and 18, we attended and provided social media coverage for Microsoft's Include 2021 virtual event. On March 24 , we hosted a Twitter Chat on Empowering Women in Tech, Health and Life Sciences.


For us, having had careers and businesses in high tech for 30 years each, exploring these topics and themes is of particular interest. And so, following the Include2021 event, we wanted to open up the conversation to our audience on Twitter and dive into a particular aspect of intersection of DEI and high tech. On March 24th, in partnership with Microsoft, we hosted a Twitter Chat titled “Empowering Women in Tech, Health & Life Sciences”. That day, March 24th, was the #EqualPayDay2021 which is the number of days (82 days!) into 2021 that women have to work to earn the same pay as a man in 2020. Equity matters!



Four distinguished experts from Microsoft joined the #MicrosoftAIChat:








On the chat, we discussed the following topics:


Icebreaker: As we start with introductions, how would you describe AI in a GIF?


T1: In honor of Women's History Month, is there a woman leading the way in AI, Tech, Health or Life Sciences that inspires you?


T2: Today’s tech industry is not taking full advantage of the power of diverse and inclusive teams. What are forward-thinking companies doing to tap into a more diverse workforce?


T3: The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for women and minorities. What are barriers to making tech more inclusive for women? How can we overcome those challenges?


T4: The pandemic has redefined how and where work is done. How can organizations build a culture of flexibility and inclusiveness to support and retain a diverse workforce?


T5: If technological progress increases inequalities, it is not true progress. How can industries like tech and health ensure that the technological developments in robotics and AI always serve all of society?


T6: With rapid adoption of AI in the healthcare industry, what more can be done to increase interest and opportunities for women to contribute and be recognized?



The conversation around these topics was amazing! 173 participants across 982 tweets generated 53.7 Million impressions.



Here are some of the notable responses to the Twitter Chat questions:


NOTE: The full Twitter Chat transcript is available here via Symplur.



Icebreaker: As we start with introductions, how would you describe AI in a GIF?







































T1: In honor of Women's History Month, is there a woman leading the way in AI, Tech, Health or Life Sciences that inspires you?












T2: Today’s tech industry is not taking full advantage of the power of diverse and inclusive teams. What are forward-thinking companies doing to tap into a more diverse workforce?


































































































































































T3: The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for women and minorities. What are barriers to making tech more inclusive for women? How can we overcome those challenges?





























































































































































































T4: The pandemic has redefined how and where work is done. How can organizations build a culture of flexibility and inclusiveness to support and retain a diverse workforce?















































T5: If technological progress increases inequalities, it is not true progress. How can industries like tech and health ensure that the technological developments in robotics and AI always serve all of society?



















































































T6: With rapid adoption of AI in the healthcare industry, what more can be done to increase interest and opportunities for women to contribute and be recognized?










































































Some closing remarks...





































































It is impossible to cover all of the powerful information and insights participants shared during the chat in this blog post.


You can see entire chat content directly on Twitter: #MicrosoftAIChat.


You can access the full Twitter Chat transcript here via Symplur.


For a “highlight reel” of the Chat, check out this Twitter moment.

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