Women Must Transition to Remain Relevant in the Automation Age

If women don’t seize the emerging opportunities of the age of automation, they will find that they no longer are relevant in an age that constantly demands innovation and creative solutions. From a global point of view, 40 million and 160 million will need to evolve to higher-skilled work to make progress and to also help narrow down the gender gap and the gender wage in the future reveals this in-depth McKinsey report. 

Contrary to popular belief more jobs will be created with automation

The truth is that both men and women will face disruption in the workplace thanks to automation, however, this is an opportunity rather than a disadvantage because contrary to popular belief more jobs will be created to assist these intelligent machines. Therefore, women need to be trained to become highly-skilled, mobile and tech-savvy. Until now, fully-developed economies account for 15 percent of women who operate machines, however, more than 70 percent of women are involved in clerical work and these numbers are even lower in developing economies, 25 percent machine operators and 40 percent clerical support workers. Though both clerical work and machine operations will come under the axe of automation, men will generally be affected more since they work in professions that require more manpower. 

Mass automation can give women the flexibility they mean

However, in India, since a majority of women work in non-technical occupations like agriculture, for example, they could be more affected by automation, about 28 percent could face job losses. However, mass automation could also mean that it could give women the flexibility they need to work from anywhere in the country. Flexibility at the workplace is something women even today struggle with and many corporates still do not offer remote work or flexibility. Hence, this could help women manage their “double burden”. However, if women do not actively participate in the future of work, gender inequality in the workplace could worsen. Therefore, women must be equipped with the skills that will secure them high-paying jobs in the future, through reskilling programs. Also, women must be engaged in technology in order to gain more access to learning that will open up a plethora of employment opportunities in the future.

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