Tag Archives | blogg100

Gender diversity at IBM InterConnect

I won’t make this into a long post on the importance of addressing the issues of gender diversity, especially in our industry. I just want to make public that I, and many with me, note how well IBM succeeds in putting women experts and leaders on stage, and in the spotlight. This should be normal and therefore, this post should have been irrelevant. (Note: Yes, I see that the photos lack illustrations of racial/ethnic diversity, but I can assure you presenters on stage were of many ethnic backgrounds. It just wasn’t the point of this post.)

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IBM InterConnect – Day 2-3

This is my last day at IBM InterConnect 2017. The past two days I’ve attended sessions including; developer driven innovation with Watson, using cognitive services to help fight cyberbullying, and Blockchain implementations.

For me, the most valuable learnings relate to the inner workings of the Watson services platform, for example Conversation Service, Visual Recognition, Virtual Agent, Discovery Service, Knowledge Studio, Natural Language, Retrieve and Rank, and Tone Analyzer. How this all fit together, the reference model, can be explained by organizing services into:

  • Foundational cognitive skills
  • Higher reasoning skills
  • Knowledge organization skills

… and understand how developer tooling and content tooling relate to each other. On this last day, I’m looking forward to attend the following sessions:

  • Building an Integrated AI Service Desk Agent
  • Roadmap for Next Generation Entrepreneurs
  • Humanism of Technology
  • Watson in Recruitment to Improve Candidate Quality

Below some photos to give you some idea about what it looks like during and in-between sessions!



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IBM InterConnect – Day 1

First day of IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas has been very interesting. The entire event includes more than 2.000 sessions to choose from. Today, I learned much on cognitive computing and IoT, agile transformation in banking, and Watson IoT for Retail (The Connected Store).

My focus will be on artificial/augmented intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing, API- and innovation management. IBM has significant research and insights in these topics, and have succeeded in creating platforms that are now available for pilots and implementation. I’ll spin out some of the cool stuff I see, here on the blog.

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Hack for Sweden 2017

Hack for Sweden 2017 is now over and it’s been a privilege and inspiration to be part of the jury. More than 200 participants gathered with the objective to create new and innovative solutions based on open data/APIs from 30 government agencies.

Hack for Sweden 2017 was inaugurated by the Minister of Public Administration, Ardala Shekarabi, and he did a great job laying out his and the government’s view on the importance of open public data. It was streamed live and that video, and many more from the event, can be viewed on Hack for Sweden’s Youtube-channel.

The 54 teams worked through the night, coming up with ideas ranging from saving valuable forests, “Pokemon Go”-styled game for public interests points, solutions for matching immigrants with jobs, pollution warnings, virtual reality based visualizations of public data, and so on. It was not easy to judge, with so many ideas to choose from. Also, there is so much data to get to understand and then match with other sources, so it’s almost as if 24 hours perhaps is too short. Imagine what we could do with just one extra day!

I was very happy to see all ages, from 10-12 year olds and up to 50+ year olds. The gender balance seemed to be almost 50/50. The government agencies were well represented and they went around to the teams, helping them to understand the data and how to use the APIs. I applaud all the employees of the agencies and their energy and passion for open data.

Thank you, Angela Yong (SMHI) and Stefan Beronius (Lantmäteriet), everyone else in the team of organizers. You really managed to create a superbly coordinated event.






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Where women make more than men – #NOWHERE

Edited post: Added links to articles on the subject. See at the end of this post.

Gender diversity and equal rights between men and women, have numerous different aspects. One of them is “gender pay gap”, which is the average difference between a man’s and a woman’s average salary.
Even when you adjust for known factors, such as parental leave differences etc, women all over the world make less than men. This is a fact established by more than 260 current scientific studies. Data consolidated by World Economic Forum evaluating the gender pay gap in 145 countries show that in the US, as an example, women make on average approximately 80% of what men make.

The below illustration shows the gender gap in earnings, between OECD countries. For example, in Sweden there’s a 13 percent difference between the salaries of men and women.


I  added the #NOWHERE-side of the chart.

The original only had the left side, showing countries where men make more than women. This creates a problem in ongoing debates where some still argue that the differences in pay can be justly explained or that they are not significant. The problem is that we’re adjusting our expectations incorrectly. I want equal pay for equal work and zero unexplained differences in pay, but in a discussion where inequality is debated, the #NOWHERE tag speaks volume.

Business Insider recently published an article stating: “There’s no country in the world where women earn more than men.”, citing Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest “Transforming World Atlas” report. “It notes that between 2011 and 2014, a woman earned $76 for every $100 that a man was paid, according to the World Bank. Even in the country with the smallest pay gap — New Zealand — women still earned 5% less than men in 2015.”


In the workplace, gender diversity and gender equality relate to many more topics than the “gender pay gap” and “equal pay for equal work”. For example, other topics include women in leadership positions, equal opportunities for visibility, equal opportunity to careers and training, etc. However, many of those topics ultimately boil down to wages and as a KPI, it’s telling. Many organizations are now heading into another period of salary adjustments. I urge all, including my own, to grasp every such period as an opportunity to focus and act on – to eradicate unjust inequalities in the “gender pay gap”.

More reading:

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