Recommended Reading: Kickstart Program aims to diversify Alberta’s AI talent pool

Recent articles in Taproot Edmonton and BetaKit profile Amii’s Kickstart Program, a free online program aimed at guiding women and gender-diverse individuals in pursuit of careers in artificial intelligence (AI).

The Taproot Edmonton article featured Kickstart alum Sacha Davis, who took part in the first iteration of the program. According to the article, one of the most important elements of the program was being able to learn alongside a cohort that Davis “was immediately comfortable with”, having felt intimidated by tech events in the past.

“It’s hard not to think about, ‘If I ask a dumb question, are 30% of the people in this room going to assume it’s because I’m a female?’ Those anxieties do creep in there. So to access those spaces and be welcomed with open arms within a group that you know you’re not going to be judged by, that was the most important part for me.”

Sacha Davis

When asked by Amii if Davis would recommend the program to a peer, they replied “One hundred percent, yeah. There’s no way to lose. It’s a great program, it’s at no cost to the individual – there’s no downsides of participating. What I got out of it was knowledge, connections, confidence to be attending more events, and inspiration seeing women in leadership roles.”

As explained in the BetaKit article, gender gaps are more likely to occur in sectors that require disruptive technical skills, such as AI, according to the 2021 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report. It found that women make up 32 percent of the data and AI workforce, and that figure has seen a mild decline of 0.1 percentage points since February 2018.

The Kickstart Program aims to address this disparity by helping women and gender-diverse individuals build their skills and grow their network in AI, with practical advice and tools that they can apply as they pursue opportunities in this growing field.

Read the Taproom Edmonton article and Betakit article for more information. Applications for the program are open until May 31 – learn more and apply now!

Connect with the community

Get involved in Alberta's growing AI ecosystem! Speaker, sponsorship, and letter of support requests welcome.

Explore training and advanced education

Curious about study options under one of our researchers? Want more information on training opportunities?

Harness the potential of artificial intelligence

Let us know about your goals and challenges for AI adoption in your business. Our Investments & Partnerships team will be in touch shortly!