Will Workplace Automation Affect Women Negatively More Than Men?

Ever since the advancement of technology, working men and women have always feared that someday machines would completely take over their jobs leaving them redundant. However, though this may not be entirely true, the fact that many manual jobs and livelihoods are being replaced by automation and that women will be hit harder by this than men has been reiterated. Let’s find out why.

Simple computer tasks like cashiers and financial clerks are being replaced

Research reveals that 25% of all occupations or 36 million jobs are at high risk of being automated, according to the Brookings Institution and that women will be affected more. As a result, gender disparity might increase due to this because there are fewer women in tech at the moment. The truth is that automation has already begun and a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers stated that simple computer tasks like cashiers and financial clerks are being replaced all over the world thanks to self-checkout kiosks and data processing software. However, automation in terms of bigger tasks is yet to take place, like driverless cars, for example. In the next 10 years, the UK too will face similar consequences, as 70 percent of the 1.5 million jobs will come under the hammer of automation. The IMF also said that, as disparity is such a big issue in so many parts of the world 11 percent of women will lose their jobs as compared to 9 percent of men.

Women need to get the right kind of skills and education

Era Dabla-Norris, a division chief in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department said in an interview, “This is primarily because women work in those occupations and sectors that are at high risk…there are more women doing low-scale blue-collar jobs and there are fewer women who are in senior-level positions.” Many women do work in the retail sector and work jobs like stocking up shelves, assembling projects and contacting customers and therefore, these low-level jobs will be automated in the future. Governments and organizations can do a lot about this before more people’s jobs are displaced. Women all over the world must be equipped with a certain skill set because it’s not just about getting an education, but the right kind. Also, women are paramount to the advancement of technology since it caters to the entire population not just the male demographic. A diverse team will ensure that automation will benefit people are not leave them without a means to make a living.

Image credit: Medium

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