Category Archives: AI & ML

Why are fewer women using AI than men?

Why are fewer women using AI than men? 

Popular artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT now has more than 180 million users, but jeweler Harriet Kelsall says it isn’t for her.

Being dyslexic, she admits that using it might help improve the clarity of her communication with customers on her website. But ultimately she says that she just doesn’t trust it.

Ms Kelsall, who is based in Cambridge, says that when she experimented with ChatGPT this year, she noticed errors. She tested it by quizzing it about the crown worn by King Charles III in his coronation back in May, the St Edward’s Crown.

“I asked ChatGPT to tell me some information about the crown, just to see what it would say,” she says. “I know quite a bit about gemstones in the royal crowns, and I noticed there were large chunks within the text about it which were about the wrong crown.”

Ms Kelsall adds that she is also concerned about people “passing off what ChatGPT tells them as independent thought, and plagiarizing”.

While ChatGPT has become hugely popular since its launch a year ago, Ms Kelsall’s reluctance to use it appears to be significantly more common among women than men. While 54% of men now use AI in either their professional or personal lives, this falls to just 35% of women, according to a survey earlier this year.

What are the reasons for this apparent AI gender gap, and should it be a concern?


Michelle Leivars, a London-based business coach, says she doesn’t use AI to write for her, because she wants to retain her own voice and personality.

“Clients have said they booked sessions with me because the copy on my website didn’t feel cookie cutter, and that I was speaking directly to them,” she says. “People who know me have gone onto the website, and said that they can hear me saying the words and they could tell it was me straight away.”

Meanwhile, Hayley Bystram, also based in London, has not been tempted to save time by using AI. Ms Bystram is the founder of matchmaking agency, Bowes-Lyon Partnership, and meets her clients face-to-face to hand pair them with like-minded others, with no algorithm involved.

“The place where we could use something such as ChatGPT is in our carefully crafted member profiles. which can take up to half a day to create,” she says. “But for me it would take the soul and the personalisation out of the process, and it feels like it’s cheating, so we carry on doing it the long-winded way.”

Hayley Bystram
Hayley Bystram says that using AI feels like “cheating”

For Alexandra Coward, a business strategist based in Paisley, Scotland, using AI for content generation is just “heavy photoshopping”.

She is also particularly concerned about the growing trend of people using AI to create images “that make them look the slimmest, youngest and hippest versions of themselves”.

Ms Coward adds: “We’re moving towards a space where not only will your clients not recognise you in person, you won’t recognise you in person.”

While all these seem valid reasons to give AI a wide berth, AI expert Jodie Cook says there are deeper, more ingrained reasons why women are not embracing the technology as much as men.

“Stem fields [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] have traditionally been dominated by males,” says Ms Cook, who is the founder of, an app that allows business leaders to create AI clones of themselves.

“The current trend in the adoption of AI tools appears to mirror this disparity, as the skills required for AI are rooted in Stem disciplines.”

In the UK, just 24% of the workforce across the Stem sectors are female, and as a consequence “women may feel less confident using AI tools”, adds Ms Cook. “Even though many tools don’t require technical proficiency, if more women don’t view themselves as technically skilled, they might not experiment with them.

“And AI also still feels like science fiction. In the media and popular culture, science fiction tends to be marketed at men.”

Ms Cook says that moving forward she wants to see more women both use AI and work in the sector. “As the industry grows, we definitely don’t want to see a widening gap between the genders.”

Yet psychologist Lee Chambers says that typically female thinking and behavior may be holding some women back from embracing AI.

“It’s the confidence gap – women tend to want to have a high level of competence in something before they start using it, ” he says. “Whereas men tend to be happy to go into something without much competence.”

Lee Chambers
Psychologist Lee Chambers says women fear that using AI might raise questions of competence

Mr Chambers also says that women may fear having their ability questioned, if they use AI tools.

“Women are more likely to be accused of not being competent, so they have to emphasize their credentials more to demonstrate their subject matter expertise in a particular field,” he says. “There could be this feeling that if people know that you, as a woman, use AI, it’s suggesting that you might not be as qualified as you are.

“Women are already discredited, and have their ideas taken by men and passed off as their own, so having people knowing that you use an AI might also play into that narrative that you’re not qualified enough. It’s just another thing that’s debasing your skills, your competence, your value.”

Or as Harriet Kelsall puts it: “I value authenticity and human creativity.”