Driving innovation, inclusion, and ethical AI: Credera at the FCA Women in Tech & AWS Cloud event
Gender disparity in the tech industry is well-known. However, companies today are actively trying to lessen this gap, recognising that greater diversity and inclusion is key to overall business success. At Credera, we're proud to foster an inclusive environment and recently took pride in being recognised as one of the "UK's Best Workplaces for Women" by Great Place to Work for the second consecutive year.
In July 2023, we were excited to have the opportunity to attend the FCA Women in Tech & AWS Cloud Women Summer event. This event, which was a joint effort between AWS and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), not only served as a celebration of women in tech, but also as a powerful platform for networking and knowledge-sharing amongst the tech community.
In this blog, we summarise some of our key highlights and learnings from the day.
Keynote: Data strategy and ethics: Navigating a career in tech
The event was attended by over 100 people on the day and started with a networking mixer that provided the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow attendees. The event's formal opening included a warm welcome by Ian Alderton, CIO of FCA, followed by a compelling keynote presentation by Dr. Louise Sheridan, Deputy Director at the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI). During her talk, Dr Sheridan shed light on data strategy and ethics, and her insights highlighted the centre’s efforts to harness the potential of AI ethically for the betterment of public services.
The spotlight then shifted to Jessica Rusu, Chief Data Intelligence & Information Officer, and Gayathri Shyamsundar, Head of Core Technology at FCA. They shared their remarkable journey through data and cloud transformation - a journey that enabled them to regulate over 50,000 companies whilst staying aligned with the rapid pace of technological innovation. Their presentation also offered a glimpse into their upcoming plans aimed at further enhancing their solutions and services, which will include creating regulations and assurance for the use of AI.
Lightning talks & panel discussion: Opportunities of AI in the future
The day was drawn to a close with a series of lightning talks and a panel discussion on the future of AI. These talks shed light on FCA's journey with cloud and DevOps, revealed how to build modern data architecture in AWS, and emphasised the vital traits of emotional resilience. Most importantly, the discussion highlighted the significance of forming and leading diverse tech teams.
Some key topics emerged from the thought-provoking discussions and invaluable perspectives shared by the event speakers:
Importance of modern data or technology stack: In the realm of AI, having a contemporary data and technology architecture is a game-changer, and this was highlighted in one of the event’s lightning talks. It is the solid ground on which AI's potential takes flight. Like a well-oiled machine, this architecture ensures data flows seamlessly, bolstering AI's capabilities. Equally important, it shapes ethical AI by defining how data is handled and secured. Modern architecture is the cornerstone of AI's success, making innovation and responsible implementation possible.
AI is sticking around for the long haul: AI is a hot topic in the tech world, and it's clear that the excitement isn't going away any time soon. However, what is most important now is figuring out how to use AI in a fair and ethical way to move forward in the right direction with technology.
Combating tech bias through diversity: The enduring presence of AI underscores the need for proactive measures against tech bias, and creating diverse tech teams emerges as a pivotal strategy. By bringing together individuals with varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, we forge a defence against inherent biases. These diverse teams scrutinise algorithms and technologies from multiple angles, enhancing fairness and inclusivity. Embracing diversity becomes our shield and ensures that the impacts of AI benefit all, without inadvertently perpetuating biases.
It was a pleasure to attend this year’s FCA Women in Tech & AWS Cloud Women Summer event and hear from some of the great female leaders who are driving innovation and learnings in their field. It is evident that greater diversity in tech, particularly within AI, fosters a broader range of perspectives and experiences, leading to more innovative solutions and fairer algorithms. Embracing diversity ensures AI's ethical and equitable development, benefiting society as a whole.
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