Workplace Automation Will Hit Women Hard, Report

By: Marie Donlon

More women than men are likely to see their jobs displaced thanks to automation according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Analyzing nearly 1,000 jobs throughout the U.S., researchers are predicting that 1.4 million U.S. jobs between now and 2026 will be threatened by advances in technology.

Yet, the threat is greater for women as 57 percent of the jobs at risk are performed by women.

“The narrative tends to focus on male, blue-collar factory workers, for example,” Saadia Zahidi, head of education, gender and work at WEF. “But there are also a number of very female-dominated roles like secretaries and administrative assistants that are facing displacement.”

Among those positions likely to be automated are secretaries and cashiers — positions predominantly held by women.

Experts believe that to combat this shift, it is necessary to retrain and reskill workers, suggesting that doing so may help to address the gender gap as well.

“If we took a very deliberate approach to reskilling in which we tried to ensure some of these gender gaps were closed, we’re actually sitting on an opportunity where we can actually accelerate gender parity,” said Zahidi.

To read the report, click here.