Meet Dr Maneerat Rumsamrong, a recent CQUniversity PhD graduate who hopes to pursue a career in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), working in artificial intelligence. CQUniversity celebrates her achievements during International Women’s Day 2020.
What does it mean to you to be a woman who is endeavouring to lead the charge in the ICT sector?
Being a young woman in ICT means that we are being managed by males who have come from an era where ICT is male-dominated and they are finding it had to change their existing mindsets about how women are placed in the industry and what it would mean to have a woman as a manager.
In my view, I think that it is important to be a woman leading the charge in the ICT sector. We need to be pushing forward our ideas challenging what has for so long been the norm. In Australia, I feel that women have the opportunity to create innovate in the ICT sector. For me, it is about being considered in the workplace. Having my ideas be considered, even when they might not be the same as others. In the past, I have felt this wasn’t the case I want to create a change where everyone’s ideas have equal weight.
Would you say that the ICT sector has been male-dominated? Have you seen an increase in more women taking up studies or careers in the industry?
Fifteen years ago, when I stared it was man dominated. I was always the only woman in the software development team. They never seemed to trust me to be able to complete the task. There has been an increase in the number of women in the workplace, but we still need a louder voice.
How important to you is it that women and men have the same rights in the workplace?
For me, gender equality is very important for workplaces. The workplace gender equality associated to improve national productivity and economic growth. It not only because it’s the fair and right thing to do, but because it’s also linked to a world’s economic performance. Therefore, as a woman in the ICT sector, I want to be valued for my abilities, my skills at work. I want this to be equal to another person’s. People need to accept others in the workplace regardless of their gender as skills and abilities are what is important.
Many women today don’t receive the same amount of remuneration in their jobs as men do – how do you feel about this?
It is important that people pay equality if people get pay the same field and skills. Therefore, it will help the workplace to achieve gender equality, in which people are able to access and experience similar payments and opportunities regardless of gender. At this stage, I think that we need equal access for families to raise their children. It needs to be equal for all, without penalties for time away to raise a family.
As a future leader in the ICT sector and your willingness to take AI development further do you feel this goal will be easier or more challenging?
Of course, it will be challenging. Anything new and innovative is going to be a long-term challenge because we need to do it right. Our innovation is limited by our humanity. How do we use them? How can we ethically create AI to help people? We need to create AI to assist humanity not replace us.
Anything else you’d like to add?
In fact, when women take maternity leave it gives someone else, possibly another woman, an opportunity to gain experience in the field. More people are allowed to have the opportunity to gain new skills or further develop their existing skills and potentially find a better more rewarding career from it afterward. This cannot really happen in the ICT sector unless the man takes paternity leave.