Cracking the code: How women are getting ahead for the AI-driven workplace

Female developers using AI writes the code for data analytics


As AI reshapes industries and redefines work, the need for upskilling, especially among women, is emphasised. Marni Baker Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera, delves into how women can navigate the AI landscape and identify promising career growth opportunities

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various aspects of our working lives has become inevitable.

Data from Coursera – one of the world’s largest online learning platforms – shows that 67% of UK bosses say it is now ‘important’ for job candidates to possess AI skills, while 83% believe AI will change the skills required by their company. As AI continues to reshape industries and redefine the nature of work, it’s crucial for individuals, regardless of gender, to stay ahead of the curve. For women, however, this imperative is particularly pronounced, due to AI’s disproportionate potential impact on their employment.

A recent UN study warns that women may be disproportionately at risk of having their jobs automated by AI, with more than twice the share of male employment potentially jeopardised by automation. This underscores the urgency for women to begin upskilling themselves to build a career path that evolves with AI, rather than being automated by it.


In this article, Marni Baker Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera, looks at how women can stay ahead of the AI curve and identify the right career growth opportunities for them. 

Marni is Coursera’s Chief Content Officer, overseeing the company’s content and credential strategy and partner relationships. Marni has more than 25 years of experience in producing and scaling online and hybrid education programs. Before joining Coursera, she was Chief Academic Officer and Provost at Western Governors University, where she led its four colleges serving more than 135,000 students with programs that improved access and affordability without compromising academic quality. Before that, Marni held several leadership positions focused on access, student success, and program design at institutions such as the University of Texas System, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania

Interest in AI upskilling surging 

It’s encouraging that amidst growing uncertainty surrounding employment, there has been a significant surge in female enrollments on the “AI for Everyone” course on Coursera this year, which is now the sixth most popular course for the 1.58 million female learners on the platform in the UK – up from 59th in 2022. It is encouraging that women are demonstrating a keen interest in understanding the technology that will radically alter their work.

Coursera’s data also shows that British women are seeking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to arming themselves with in-demand skills – like AI – for the evolving requirements of the workplace. Google’s job-relevant courses remain the most popular among female learners, accounting for 11 of the top 20 courses taken by British women on Coursera this year. These include courses that equip learners with in-demand technical skills such as “Foundations: Data, Data Everywhere”, an accessible introduction to data science, offered by Google, that is the second most popular course for female learners on the platform this year. 

With the labour market constantly evolving, driven by digitalisation and automation, it is positive to see women recognising the value of earning online certifications and micro-credentials for job-relevant skills like AI. Online learning provides an accessible and flexible route to accelerating women’s career growth, but equally important is building a network and profile. Seeking mentorship to guide progress, advocating for challenging projects to showcase abilities and networking to connect with like-minded professionals are all ways women can set themselves up for success and stability

Women at the forefront of the AI age 

AI upskilling and development can also enable women to contribute to diverse AI development teams. This diversity can play a pivotal role in breaking the gender bias innate in AI that can occur in the algorithm development processes, in the training of datasets, and in AI-generated decision-making.

Unfortunately, women still only make up 28% of professionals in the tech industry. However, this offers immense potential for increasing female representation to help drive the AI revolution. By identifying the right career growth opportunities, embracing a culture of continuous learning, and earning online certifications and micro-credentials, women can establish themselves as leaders in the AI-driven workforce. 

The wealth of job opportunities within AI offers immense promise for women to thrive in this exciting, essential field. As they forge their paths, women are not just keeping up with the AI curve – they are driving innovation and shaping the future of technology.


Get ready to hone your tech skills with Adam Biddlecombe, "The AI Guy" and the Co-Founder & CEO of Mindstream, an esteemed AI-focused news blog.
Join Ellen Wyllie from Ipsotek on a journey through the misconceptions surrounding AI, the impact of AI in education, and the imperative need for legislation...
In this article, Michelle Espinosa from Applause, delves into the need for greater diversity in software development and specifically the training of generative AI to...
Aisha Mendez, Associate Partner for AI & Automation at Infosys Consulting UK, takes a look at why businesses must prioritise AI to stay ahead, unlock...