Work patterns are evolving at a pace never seen before. Due to automation made possible by advances in digitalization, AI, and ML, many middle- and low-skilled employment are becoming obsolete. According to the latest studies, the shift toward increasing automation will be particularly difficult for women.
Compared to males, who have a 9% chance of being laid off owing to automation, women have an 11% chance. It is estimated that 26 million women’s employment across 30 nations are very vulnerable to being replaced by technology during the next 20 years, whereas many males are losing their jobs to automation. If we want to achieve gender parity in the workplace, we must learn how these changes affect women.
Is there anything nations can do today to guarantee women continue to contribute to economic growth even as technology replaces many jobs? Let’s have a look at how empowering women in technology is taking place-
● Higher-Risk Women
If women are overrepresented in industries and professions that are at high risk of automation, the gains made by measures to expand the number of women in the paid workforce and to boost women’s income to equal that of men may be swiftly reversed.
Women over the age of 40 and those working in customer service, administrative work, and retail have it the worst.
Women with a high school degree or less are more likely than males to have their employment replaced by robots. Women with a four-year degree or above have a 1 percent increased risk.
● Possibilities And Constraints
The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and IT (information and communications technology) professions are two examples of expanding industries where women are underrepresented. Women in the IT industry are at a far higher risk of being replaced by robots since they are 19 percent more likely to work as clerks and service employees doing more regular duties.
Women will need to shatter the glass ceiling more than ever before. The data demonstrates that gender disparities in earnings are exacerbated by variations in the routineness of occupational responsibilities.
Work in health and social services, both of which have historically been dominated by women, is expected to increase in both the rapidly aging advanced and developing economies since these are the kind of professions that need cognitive and interpersonal skills that are less susceptible to automation.
To meet the needs of an aging population, the healthcare industry will need both more people and more sophisticated technology like AI and robots to increase efficiency.
● Practical Government Action
In today’s dynamic labor market, governments must establish measures that promote women’s equality and autonomy. Women should be given the opportunity to learn useful skills.
Barriers to lifelong learning may be reduced if more countries adopted policies like the Netherlands’ tax breaks for retraining current workers and the French’s transferable individual learning accounts.
● Reduce The Gender Gap In Top Jobs
In countries like Canada and Italy, where women have more opportunities to advance in their careers, policy changes that make childcare more accessible and reduce the financial burden on families have helped.
To increase the number of women in managerial roles, nations may follow Norway’s lead and mandate quotas for the number of women at each organizational level of management, as well as implement mentoring and training programs.
● Close The Gender Gap In Technology
Public investment in capital infrastructure and providing fair access to financing and communication, like in Finland, are two examples of how governments may help.
● Help Staff Adjust To The Changes
Training and benefits that are tied to people rather than occupations, such as the individual training accounts in France and Singapore, may help countries assist employees when they transition between employment as a result of automation.
The social safety net will have to change to accommodate the emerging economy. Expanding non-contributory pensions and adopting basic income guarantees may be necessary for certain nations to overcome the decreasing economic security caused by fast technological development.
To ensure that everyone can fully participate in and reap the benefits of the new, more technology-enabled society, it is more important than ever to work for gender parity as automation becomes more pervasive.