Annual IBM List Celebrates South African Among Global Women Leaders Shaping the Future of Artificial

Standard Bank's Itumeleng Monale is recognised as part of 35 professionals from 12 countries leading AI adoption

IBM has unveiled its list of Women Leaders in AI, recognising South African, Itumeleng Monale from Standard Bank as one of 35 exceptional female business leaders from 12 countries who are using artificial intelligence to drive transformation, growth and innovation across a wide variety of industries. Itumeleng Monale is the Executive Head of Enterprise Information Management Personal & Business Banking at Standard Bank South Africa. As Data Officer for Retail Banking Operations of Standard Bank South Africa, Itumeleng was acknowledged for her commitment to strong data governance and management as she leads the proliferation of AI for enhanced customer experiences. You can explore her story of how this women leader is using AI to help transform Standard Bank —and the lessons she has learned along the way — at ibm.biz/womeninai. IBM created the Women Leaders in AI program in 2019 to help provide visibility to women leading in AI, encourage increased female participation in the field of AI, and provide honorees a network for shared learning. As organisations hasten their digital transformations amid an unpredictable environment, technologies such as AI, edge and cloud are helping companies remain resilient and position themselves for the future. Recognising leaders on the forefront of adopting AI and learning from their experiences in building AI that's inclusive and transparent become even more important during this time of rapid evolution. Many of this year's honorees are demonstrating how the power of Watson's Natural Language Processing (NLP) can be used to improve efficiency in business processes and drive greater customer and employee experiences. They are leveraging AI tools to build AI and supplement the data science skills shortage. And they are proving, through a variety of AI applications, that human and machine collaboration can truly help improve how people work. The leaders were chosen because they and their companies are demonstrating the power of AI to help improve business and work for their customers and employees. The annual recognition not only celebrates the honorees' accomplishments, but also creates a peer network for them to learn from each other and discover approaches for applying AI to solve pressing business challenges. To shed more light on diversity in AI, IBM teamed up with Morning Consult earlier this year to conduct a new global study of more than 3,200 AI professionals. Notable findings of that study, being released today, include:

  • 85 percent of AI professionals believe the industry has become more diverse over the past few years; of those, 91 percent think that shift is having a positive impact. 74 percent of AI professionals believing diversity hasn't improved say the industry must become more diverse to reach its potential.

  • While men and women working in AI were equally likely to be interested in math and hard sciences growing up, men working in AI were more likely to be told they had a natural talent for mathematics and hard sciences than women, while women were more likely to be told they had a natural talent for the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts.

  • Two in five AI professionals facing hurdles in implementing AI reported challenges in building AI tech or getting their organization to adopt AI.

  • Women in AI globally were nearly five times as likely as men to say their career advancement was negatively impacted by their gender.

For more information about IBM's Women Leaders in AI list, visit: ibm.biz/womeninai

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