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About the Project

The HeadStart project aims to empower young women to tackle the AI gender gap through targeted education and mentorship. This project aims to will equip young women and youth educators with the essential skills and resources for a future in AI.


Project Description

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming industries and our daily lives, yet women are severely underrepresented in AI’s development and use. According to the World Economic Forum, only 22% of AI professionals are female, and even user data of leading AI tools like CHATGPT reinforce this imbalance, with 65% of users being male. This imbalance doesn’t just skew the technology’s evolution, it actively harms women by denying them economic opportunities.

Without intervention, young women are poised to be left behind. Jobs requiring AI skills are growing rapidly, with some estimates that they will increase 20-fold by 2030 (PwC). Young women who lack AI literacy will struggle to compete in the modern job market, widening gender divides. As today’s youth will shape tomorrow’s world, excluding young women from AI perpetuates its male-centric bias.

The HeadStart project and the four pan-European partners involved are focused on closing the gender gap in ICT, in particular in AI, and enabling more girls to take advantage of the digital world and the opportunities that lie within. We are committed to empowering young women from an early age, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as youth educators with the essential skills and tools to develop the confidence and competence necessary for thriving careers in AI and digital environments.

HeadStart will directly engage four primary groups: young women, youth educators, youth-focused organisations, and AI education stakeholders. The multi-faceted approach will foster skills, build communities, and drive systemic change in AI gender representation. This project will demonstrate the power of digital and virtual learning to create truly valuable and inclusive learning experiences.

Through a mix of Visual Showcases, AI Toolboxes & Networking Sessions, HeadStart will provide a comprehensive solution to the AI gender disparity.

  • Visual Showcases will feature inspirational videos from female professionals already leveraging AI and consequently demystifying AI and its role in our future.
  • The HeadStart AI Toolboxes will equip educators with resources for teaching practical & ethical AI to young women and this will be aligned with the EU AI Act, The EU Digital Strategy and the UN SDGs
  • Networking sessions will be initiated to connect them with professionals for tailored and valuable guidance and to build confidence. This element is built in to strengthen the employability of girls/young women in the rapidly changing AI landscape
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