In a world where women workforce is already in dip, a new report revealed that as many as 160 million women employed globally will need to change jobs over the next decade as automated systems take over many tasks.
The report ‘The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation highlights’ by McKinsey Global Institute says on average, approximately 107 million women (20 percent) could be at risk of losing their jobs. This compares with 21 percent or 163 million employed men.
In spite of lower shares in automation-prone manufacturing occupations, women could be only somewhat less at risk than men of their jobs being displaced.
Women Workforce in India
In India, nearly ten percent of women could have potential threats to their jobs, comparatively lower than the global average due to lower wage cost and slower impact of automation.
The research covers six mature economies (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and four emerging economies (India, China, Mexico, and South Africa). Together, these ten economies account for about half of the world’s population and about 60 percent of Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
More than half of potential women’s job losses due to automation could be in clerical positions and in service jobs such as administrative assistants, people who work in shops, etc.
“Making the transition (in adapting to automation) will be quite challenging for women who are already facing the traditional barriers at workplaces,” said Anu Madgavkar, partner at McKinsey Global Institute. “Women start with lower representation in the workplace and most economies, there is a strong genderization of work or more concentration of women in certain occupations than others,” she said.
The report also states that rising demand for labor also indicates 20 percent more jobs for women, compared with 19 percent.
The composition of potential job gains and losses for women and men could be different. The service-oriented and clerical support occupations could account for 52 percent of women’s job losses, but machine operation and craftwork occupations could account for 40 percent of men’s losses.
Healthcare could account 25 percent of potential jobs gained for women, while manufacturing could account for 25 percent of jobs gained for men.
According to the report, some activities, and therefore occupations, are more automatable than others.
By Sowmya Sangam