AI and Digital Technology: Gender Gaps in Higher Education


This article examines gender gaps in higher education in Spain from 1985 to 2023 in the context of technological advancements, particularly digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI). We identify significant disparities, with women over represented in health-related fields and underrepresented in STEM disciplines. This imbalance is concerning as STEM fields offer better employment prospects and higher salaries. We analyze university degrees' exposure to technological change through Routine Task Intensity (RTI) and AI exposure indices. Our findings show that women are more enrolled in degrees with high RTI, prone to automation, and less in degrees with high AI exposure, likely to benefit from technological advancements. This suggests technological change could widen existing labor market gender gaps. To address this, we recommend policies to boost female participation in STEM fields and adapt educational curricula to reduce routine tasks and enhance AI complementarities, ensuring equitable labor market outcomes amid technological change.