Gender gap is a bitter reality of the corporate world. But how do technology and automation influence the numbers further? Do things change differently for men and women with automation? As per a research Women, Automation, and the Future of Work, by Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) traditional women-oriented jobs are at a higher risk of being automated.

The important takeaways of the study are:

  • According to the study, the introduction of automation will affect men and women differently in a number of ways.
  • The study puts forth that the discussion on automation and its effects should also include gender as one of its aspects because women-oriented jobs like cashiers, secretaries and bookkeeping clerks, face the highest risk of being automated in the future.
  • Women are less likely to work in jobs like drivers which have bleak chances of being automated in the future. This makes their scope of jobs limited to the ones vulnerable to automation. On the other hand, men can easily shift between various fields, thereby being less affected by automation.
  • For every seven men who work in technological fields facing the risk of automation, there are 10 women working in the same field, as per the study.

Will Automation Really Influence The Job Market for Women?

We reached out to the women working professionals to know what they actually feel about automation and job market. Anamika Bhattacharya, currently working at SBI, says, “Since our economy and job market is continuing to rely on technology more and more every day, automation will really affect us. The problem is that most of the junior positions today are occupied by women which can be easily replaced by AI. This means women definitely are more open to the risk of being jobless as compared to men. Since we very well know the gender gap prevalent in the higher positions of the corporate world, this thought is in itself validated.”

Vaishnavi Tiwari, currently placed in IDFC First Bank, says, “Yes, AI will affect my job. I think both men and women would be equally affected due to AI as the job roles and responsibilities are taken over by both men and women in today’s time. Every individual working in as a professional in any sector would be affected vastly. The scope of manual labour would decline.”

But How To Tackle The Situation?

Gender gap in STEM is a reality. Women everywhere in the world still remain underrepresented in the STEM fields. The problem is not only the effects of AI on the job market but also the gender gap. Only 22% of AI professionals are female globally as compared to males who form 78% of the AI crowd.

“To overcome job crisis, more jobs requiring human interaction should be generated. Machines would do all documentation stuff but the identity checks and when it is about retaining existing clients and gaining new clients then the human touch is a necessity. So Human Resource related jobs should be given importance,” adds Tiwari.

Sheetika Tandon, currently placed with Exxon Mobil says,“I guess the best option would be to educate them more, any task backed by a sound knowledge is bound to reveal good results. The more they motivate and push themselves to keep striving, the better it would be. And after all a competent woman is sure to find her way!”

Read More: 2018 Has Been A Fiercely Empowering Year For Women

Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.TV

Email us at connect@shethepeople.tv