We are the women in AI—the women who are at the forefront of transformation. We look at challenges from a different angle, drive innovation with impact, and are passionate about AI that champions diversity and fairness. We are the women in AI—but we represent only 26% of data and AI positions in the workforce1. There should be more of us. If you are in AI today, let us help you grow. If not, come and join us.
Rita Chan discovered her interest in artificial intelligence 20 years ago, while working as an accountant. She was intrigued by the idea of not just crunching the numbers, but also looking at the big picture and improving the accounting process from end to end.
“Previously, we spent hours performing reconciliations, but now with robotic process automation (RPA) and AI, many of those are being replaced by technology,” she says.” Now we can spend more time doing the actual analysis and help to drive insights and decisions.”
Today, Rita is a partner at Deloitte China and focuses on implementing AI-assisted systems. She helps clients to find smart solutions and move away from the traditional way of operating to explore more intelligent, AI-fueled approaches.
Rita, who’s been with Deloitte for 11 years, particularly likes the dynamics of working in consulting and helping organisations solve their problems. Her focus includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and their implementation. “The favorite thing about my job is helping my clients,” says Rita. She loves that each client has its own unique issues to solve and she finds it rewarding to take the AI journey together with them. Rita notes that “even when you look at similar solutions, you have very different impacts and outcomes for different clients.”
Reflecting on what it is like to be a woman in AI, Rita reflects on a shift: “Currently, it feels like the majority is male, but people want diversity.” She observes a positive trend, especially an increase in female leaders, which she anticipates will benefit everyone.
Diversity is a critical success factor for AI, Rita believes, because it enables organisations to look at things from different angles, broadens their understanding and helps them find better and more balanced solutions. “It is important to listen to different groups of people with different backgrounds to get a broader and holistic view, instead of something narrow.” In addition, she says “tech nowadays is more than just the programming; it’s how you apply those technologies and experience in the industry is important as well.”
Rita says communication and willingness to exchange ideas are some of the key ingredients of success in her field. “You need to have the right mindset and believe in AI,” she says.
“Many people do not yet realise how much AI is already part of our everyday lives,” Rita says, citing smartphone apps as an example. “I believe AI is the future. AI can help business and society make our lives easier."