How Samasource is Closing the Gender Pay Gap for Women in the AI Supply Chain

Heather Gadonniex

March 8, 2020

3 Minute Read

For centuries, women have made history as innovators, inventors and trailblazers. I’m grateful that everyday I get to witness history in the making as part of a female-led tech company that provides industry leading, high quality training data technology and solutions that are underpinned by an ethical AI supply chain.

It’s this commitment to an ethical supply chain that enables us to close the gender pay gap by paying a living wage to all of our employees. 

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The AI supply chain is the combination of the human workforce and advanced technology solutions that help bring machine learning based systems to market.  To operationalize AI, everything from data labeling to model development needs to be in sync, and as it is with any supply chain, ethics and sustainability come into play. 

Behind every Al, there’s a person deciding what data is needed and the best model to use. There’s also someone guiding AI strategy, developing the tech to support AI pipelines, and so on.

Data annotation is a key part of making machine learning possible, and conversations around ethical AI supply chains are vital to have now if we want to ensure the labeling industry is a positive force.

According to our baseline impact survey data, prior to joining Samasource, female workers in our global delivery centers earned 70 cents for every dollar earned by men, despite having comparable educational backgrounds.

We found that gender discrimination—especially in the technology sector—and the challenge of being a primary family caretaker make it difficult for many women to get into and stay in the formal employment sector in Kenya and Uganda.

Women are highly driven and eager to align their education with real-world opportunities, yet a recent report from the World Economic Forum found that if progress continues at its current rate, it would take roughly 95 years for sub-Saharan Africa to achieve gender parity.

This number is astonishing, but there is a path forward, and it involves equipping younger generations with the skills needed to succeed in the growing digital economy.

At Samasource, our workers receive digital literacy training, as well as specialized training on artificial intelligence and our advanced training data platform. Also, in addition to connecting women and youth to dignified digital work, workers gain access to life and professional skills development opportunities, to further advance their careers.

When women succeed, everyone benefits, and closing the gender gap at work is key to achieving at least five of the sustainable development goals set by the UN. In the last decade, Samasource has positively impacted over 50,000 lives, and we’re proud to have achieved gender parity in our global work centers, by ensuring our workers earn equal pay for equal work. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our impact, read our story here, or work with us on training data and model validation, to start making a positive global impact one bounding box at a time.

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Heather Gadonniex

Heather is passionate about bringing world-changing technologies to market and using supply chain purchasing power for good. She is a data-driven strategist experienced in developing and leading go-to-market, communications, and sustainability initiatives at start-ups and multi-national organizations. Heather is most happy when she’s growing companies that make a positive impact, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with her family.