It’s no secret that the world of work will change irreversibly as more and more industries begin to rely on automation and artificial intelligence. Everyone will be impacted, but a recent study shows that women will be the hardest hit.
In the United States, 1.4 million jobs will be vulnerable by 2026 due to the advent of machinery, notes the report released by the World Economic Forum, which analyzed some 1,000 jobs across the country, covering 96% of all known jobs.
According to the report, 57% of the jobs most at risk are occupied by women. These, already underrepresented in several branches, should therefore be the most impacted by this transition.
We often consider assembly line workers – mostly men – to be the most at risk as robots are adopted by the manufacturing industry as automated systems prove more efficient for such tasks.
It is estimated that in the wake of automation, the jobs of some 90,000 line workers will indeed be at risk in the United States. But these figures remain well below those of women who are employed as secretaries and administrative assistants, since 164,000 of these jobs will also be threatened.
Among workers whose jobs are vulnerable, the study notes that 16% would have no opportunity to stand for a new position given their skills, and 25% would only have access to one or three types jobs.
To compensate for the difficulty of such a transition, it will be necessary to set up many programs of reconversion. According to the study, re-adaptation would provide converted workers with an average of 48 available transition positions. In addition, half of these roles would also involve a salary increase.
Increasing opportunities for women to transition to another career could also have a positive effect on the gender pay gap. The report suggests that such an initiative could enable 74% of women to benefit from higher wages.
A vast conversion program will allow, once the transition is well under way, to multiply the opportunities and offer better wages. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to count on the good will and the motivation of the leaders to invest in these programs. But above all, the question remains as to the financing of these efforts and the guarantee of a good requalification for the concerned employees.