Women Talk Tech Episode 16: Women in AI

Available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play Music.

On this week’s Women Talk Tech podcast, we talk to Didem Un Ates, who is a Senior Director in charge of Microsoft’s Customer and Partner Engagement for early-stage AI solutions within their Cloud & AI team. Her passion is to scale meaningful, disruptive technologies so people can live better. She is also committed to helping and inspiring more girls and women to join the technology and artificial intelligence sector.


There are three key learnings we took away from this podcast:

  1. We are in a fascinating period with artificial intelligence taking off and creating incredible opportunities in terms of new career paths and jobs in almost every field imaginable.
  2. The current level of diversity and trends in computer science and AI pose threats, especially for women and underrepresented groups.
  3. There is a lot we can do to reverse these trends, embrace the technology, and make the most of it for our own advantage – both as an individual and as a society.
There are some disappointing trends regarding women in technology. Didem mentions that in 1985, 37% of U.S computer science graduates are were females and now it’s only 12%. The number of female talent is getting less and less diverse every year and we must change this. There are many different issues with sex discrimination whether it’s the lack of female CEO’s, products being developed with only a male perspective and females not having a voice. We also know that AI will replace some jobs and Didem thinks this will hit females first because of the type of roles females are often in.


Marie Wiese recently launched the “Future Poof Workshop” to solve challenges that the tech industry is currently experiencing in attracting women to the industry. This workshop includes sessions on best-recruiting practices, pay equity benchmarks and how to create a mentorship and sponsorship initiative within their own company. To sign up or learn more, click here.



Following her Electrical Engineering and Management studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Didem started her career with management consulting at CapGemini and Motorola. After graduating from Columbia Business School (CBS) in 2005, Didem continued her career at Greenwich Consulting (now part of EY) and British Telecom in London, UK.


Her passion for technology led her to join Microsoft’s Information & Content Experiences Group where she and her team signed c. 1,500 partnerships across 60 markets. She held other business development and partner management roles as part of Microsoft Accelerators and the Business AI teams. In her current role, Didem is focusing on scaling Microsoft’s SaaS AI solutions such as Dynamics Customer Service Insights and Virtual Agent. Didem has 20+ years of multinational leadership experience in business development, management consulting, and product management in executing international rollouts, implementing new market entries and building new revenue streams from disruptive technologies in EMEA, APAC, and LATAM.


You can connect with Didem on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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