THE FUTURE WOMEN IN VOICE

MICHELE J MARTIN

All of this month, we have been celebrating "Women MAKING history in voice tech." These are women working across disciplines within the voice technology community who we believe help build this innovative industry and push for it to be more diverse and inclusive.

Recognizing & supporting women in STEM is something we believe in strongly.

According to UNESCO's global statistics, only 29.3% of the researchers working in science are women. In the U.S., women fare a bit better - "Women in 2019 also made up nearly half of those in all math (47%) and life and physical science (45%) occupations."

But that isn't enough. The U.S. Census Report also explains that women aren't making gains in computer or engineering occupations, which comprise 80% of the STEM workforce.

It goes on to say, "women represented only about a quarter of computer workers and 15% of those in engineering occupations. They were, however, a majority of the nation's social scientists. But social science accounted for only 3% of STEM occupations.

Women working in engineering occupations increased from 3% in 1970 to 15% in 2019. And while the percentage of women in computer occupations is higher than in 1970, it actually decreased between 1990 and 2019."

So, to decrease this massive gender gap, what do we do? How do we attract and retain more talented young women into STEM? One of those ways is through mentoring, which is near and dear to our Founder, Dr. Rupal Patel.

Dr. Patel often *speaks to young scientists and entrepreneurs, focusing mainly on young women in STEM. Over her long career as a scientist, she has personally mentored many students and young clinicians who are just beginning their careers. Whether it is at a conference, a small talk at a university, or one-on-one, mentoring is a passion for Rupal.

She recently participated as a guest mentor in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Apprenticeship Program, speaking to a group of young women between 14-18-years old. The purpose of the program is to address the gender gap in science by focusing on female high school students with a curiosity for STEM-related topics. These young women who apply must show an interest in how science and technology are transforming the world and are considering what opportunities are available to the next generation of leaders. By leveraging female mentors' experiences from various STEM industries, the program attendees gain invaluable insight to help nurture their interests in STEM fields and potentially help reduce the gap.

CDL Apprenticeship Program Event

If you have been thinking about mentoring, but aren't quite sure how to do it, here are some suggestions. Consider reaching out to your alma mater, local schools, or organizations that align with your mentoring goals, i.e., mentoring a young woman in science or entrepreneurship.

Rupal has provided some of her best advice, gained from her many mentoring opportunities, for those just starting out as a mentor:

Mentoring happens naturally and organically. It isn't the same process as searching for an intern or employee, don't approach it as such. The process is more intuitive — you will see potential in someone, and you will want to help them succeed.

Find alignment - you'll have more fun, and you'll be able to contribute greater if you have alignment between their interests and goals and your interests and background.

Be realistic. Only take on mentees if you have time - you can't be there for everyone. But if you commit, make sure you follow through and make yourself accessible.

Be a sounding board - we don't need clones. Mentoring is about helping and nurturing through supportive advice, not telling someone how to do something to be just like someone else.

Be you - often, women will feel that they can only portray their professional self; their personal life needs to be hidden. Your mentee doesn't need to know details about your personal life. However, understanding what real balance looks like and the varied roles you play in your life can be a vital lesson.

Sometimes it doesn't work out, and even the best intentions may not land well. Be open and transparent but don't force it. You aren't obligated to be a mentor, nor are they to being your mentee. Life happens, people change, situations adapt. Keep the conversation open and know when it is time to walk away.

Mentoring isn't one way - I have found that you learn and get back as much from your mentees as you give.

While we only spent a month highlighting these brilliant women on social media, we hope that this has inspired others to call out and recognize bright women they know. Let's continue to shine a light on them, and instead of Women's History Month, let's transform 2021 into The Year of the Woman!

*If you are interested in having Rupal speak to your organization about her experiences as a mentor, a founder, or scientist, please email your request to hello@vocalid.ai

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Rupal Patel Named A Top Voice AI
Influencer To Follow by Soundhound

MICHELE J MARTIN

Soundhound (powered by the team at Houndify) recognizes that as the Voice AI space has grown, so has the need to identify those experts leading the way — innovating and inspiring both industry insiders and everyday people with their work.

As anyone who uses Twitter knows, it can be hard to filter through the noisy stream of tweets and find the high-quality, credible content you want. We are honored that our Founder and CEO, Rupal Patel, has been included in this list.

Featured alongside such respected peers as Heidi Culbertson of Marvee, Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek of Women in Voice, Adva Levin of Pretzel Labs, Noelle Silver of HackerU and AILI, as well as Mark Tucker Mark Tucker and Dr. Teri Fisher.

To follow Rupal Patel and the others on Twitter:
twitter.com/i/lists/1334977812168511488

Read more about Soundhound's picks for Top Voice AI Influencers on Twitter and how they are impacting the Voice AI space in the Soundhound blog.

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#SHAREVOICE:
THE MOVEMENT TO CHANGE LIVES (INFOGRAPHIC)

MICHELE J MARTIN

#SHAREVOICE is a movement born from the belief that our voices are not identical, they are our identities.

When our founder, Rupal Patel, found herself witnessing people of different genders, ages, geography, and personalities all using the same text-to-speech voices to communicate, she knew that by harnessing technology, we could do better AND we could change lives. This was the beginning of the Human Voicebank and VocaliD's global voicebanking initiatives.

Voicebanking is a small gesture — with a huge impact. It is the simple act of recording yourself as you read aloud stories on VocaliD’s online studio. Your recordings are then used to train an AI voice for yourself — Vocal Legacy or blended for someone living with speechlessness —BeSpoke.

All of us. Sharing the gift of voice brings us all closer, allowing everyone the ability to express ourselves authentically, rather than with a generic voice that doesn't sound anything like who we are.

Voicebanking for you? Voice loss might be personal —If you or someone you love is currently facing voice loss or is at risk, begin voicebanking today and retain your vocal identity forever.

Voicebanking for others? Contribute your voice to VocaliD’s Human Voicebank so that we can design a totally unique AI voice for those living with speechlessness.

Absolutely! Voicebanking is a great activity to participate in while social distancing and staying #safeathome. You can even organize a virtual community voice drive so that your colleagues, friends and family, or neighbors can join in and share their voices!

All you need is a computer, headset microphone, a quiet room, and a few hours. At your own pace, you will record a total of around 2k sentences. You don't need to record it all in one session, in fact you shouldn't because you want your voice and energy to be strong all the way through your recordings. The better the recordings, the higher quality the AI voice will be!

We are excited that you want to learn more about how you can join VocaliD's global community of over 27k voice contributors!

Read our infographic below for an overview on the different types of voicebankers and how you can get started. Then go to portal.vocalid.ai/account and sign up! Please click the social share buttons right below the infographic and share it with your friends and followers on social media. You can also download it and print it out!

VocaliD Voicebanking Infographic

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INTERVIEW WITH RUPAL PATEL:
'OUTCOMES ROCKET' PODCAST

MICHELE J MARTIN

VocaliD's CEO, Rupal Patel, recently sat down with Outcomes Rocket founder Saul Marquez to discuss the benefits voice technology bring to healthcare and how it can be mastered on the Outcomes Rocket Podcast.

You can listen to this episode below:

Here are the topics that Rupal Patel and Saul Marquez touch on during this 33 minute podcast:

  • Overview of VocaliD and Rupal Patel
  • What inspired Rupal to make voice and voice tech her passion
  • The voice technology applications she sees in the medical sector
  • Why voice matters in healthcare tech
  • How voice can improve healthcare outcomes
  • The differences between traditional voice synthesis and Voice AI
  • VocaliD's setbacks, achievements, and proudest accomplishments
  • "...we can build models of speech with less data and more economically than we've been able to do in the past. That also means we can have a variety of voices for applications rather than just saying we only need one voice for all of our IVR system.

    Think about what we've been doing. I mean, I think right now we're saying there is one voice associated with one brand. Problem is that your customer base is much more, they're very different. So, if you're talking to all your customers in the same way, you're not necessarily resonating with all of them."

    - Rupal Patel, Founder & CEO - VocaliD

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    INTERVIEW WITH RUPAL PATEL:
    'WHEN SHE FOUNDED' PODCAST

    MICHELE J MARTIN

    VocaliD's CEO, Rupal Patel, recently sat down with Channel Clinical Founder and CEO Ms. Somer Hamrick to share her personal and professional experiences as a female founder in STEM for the When She Founded Podcast.

    You can listen to this episode below:

    Here are the topics that Rupal Patel and Ms. Hamrick touch on during this 36 minute podcast:

  • What inspired Rupal to start VocaliD and the gap in the market she hoped to fill
  • How she found the funding to launch the voice AI company
  • Transitioning into an entrepreneurial mindset and the challenges she faced when making this shift
  • How the VocaliD team has evolved since its inception
  • Why surrounding yourself with a solid team is critical to the success of your business
  • The challenges of finding a co-founder with a vision, mission, and passion that is aligned with yours
  • The phases of building the business that pushed the development of her AI technology to the next level and increased market awareness
  • Strategies she used to increase consumer awareness and share her message with prospective customers
  • Why VocaliD’s messaging speaks to two specific audiences
  • Rupal’s prediction for the trajectory of her business
  • What her team currently looks like and how it has evolved since the inception of the company
  • Her passion for STEM4SocialChange and how they help teach children about voice technology and STEM as well as it’s social impact on the world
  • Rupal’s advice for female entrepreneurs
  • How Rupal channels her inner strength when faced with uncertainty
  • "Surrounding yourself with a solid team, both on your staff as well as in the advisory or board capacity is vital."

    - Rupal Patel, Founder & CEO - VocaliD

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