Marie Angselius-Schönbeck

Marie Angselius-Schönbeck is Director of Corporate Communications at IPsoft – the world leader in Enterprise AI.

Headquartered in New York City, IPsoft has offices in 15 countries across the world and serves more than 550 of the world’s leading brands directly, as well as more than half of the world’s largest IT services providers. Marie is part of the wider executive team and spends her time between New York, London and Stockholm.

Marie is a big advocate of Women in Tech and is the founder of IPsoft´s Women in AI-initiative – which is currently operating in 16+ countries to encourage more females to join STEM Women in AI.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Heading Corporate Communications at IPsoft, the largest privately held AI software company, I’m responsible for cultivating our worldwide presence. Last year, I  founded IPsoft’s Women in AI  initiative to promote women in STEM careers.

Within this project, we are featuring a series of comprehensive profiles of women who are adopting and promoting AI technologies in their companies and organisations. These executives are at the forefront of the AI-enabled revolution, propelling their businesses forward and creating massive change across industries.

As the World Economic Forum urged female role models to come forward, I wanted to recognise the contributions of women in technology to inspire and support the next generation of female leaders. To date, me and my  team have succeeded in expanding the reach of the group into 16 countries, with the objective that these stories will open the door for more women to pursue careers in STEM and shrink the industry’s gender gap.

How will automation impact gender inequalities?

As a woman in Tech, and in AI, I am helping to shape the future world and the future of work, which is truly fascinating. In the last few years there have been many reports on how the future of work will unfold, and dystopian visions of robots replacing the human workforce. However, rather than talking about job replacement we really should focus on what tasks will be automated and prepare for that. I strongly believe that this fourth industrial revolution will augment us in our working life, but it is important that enterprises upskill the workforce and that we as individuals prepare for lifelong learning.

It is also suggested that females might fare better from automation, than men, as data suggests they have lower risks of their work being automated than men, given the kind of job profiles where women make up the majority of the workforce, e.g. in teaching, social and care professions. But technical skills will be very important, as will mobility. As a mindset, I hope that parents help their children understand that engineering and its innovations are just as creative as studying social sciences, and maths is a language to master, as is Spanish or Mandarin.

What tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Utilise the extensive number of free courses in AI, like the Elements of AI course. I would also recommend joining groups of relevance for insights and working with career coaches.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

We need to understand why women tend to be underrepresented in technology. The current gender gap is stark – only 22 per cent of the STEM workforce is female. That needs to change in the future if a business wants to be competitive. One consistent finding is that we need to promote more females in STEM alongside other efforts – from enterprises and educational institutions – to accelerate the inclusion of women in the workforce. According to a recent EY survey on the future of talent in Europe, 41 per cent of respondents highlighted that promoting female participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a top policy initiative likely to have the biggest impact on the labour market.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

Young girls and women starting out need more role models. We need to elevate these successful women to help them tell their stories and the broad range of roles available. Enterprises need to support women to go for more senior positions through mentorship and scholarship programs, and potentially re-consider their internal career development programs with a focus on the promotion of diversity, which of course is not limited to gender. AI will transform society – so closing the gender and general diversity gap should be a top priority.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

Learn from history, and follow Carl Benedikt Frey, who directs the programme on the Future of Work at the Oxford Martin School.

SwissCognitive, a global AI hub, arranges a number of seminars and webinars. I follow Dalith Steiger and Kay Firth Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning and Member of the Executive Committee at World Economic Forum.

I also recommend IPsoft´s webinars on cognitive AI.

WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here.