News: Technology may cost 26 million women their livelihood

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Technology may cost 26 million women their livelihood

26 M women might be out of work across 30 countries in the next 20 years, thanks to smart tech. Upskilling the existing workforce and bridging the gender digital divide to build better women’s workforce is the way out.
Technology may cost 26 million women their livelihood

There’s no denying the fact that 20 years down the line, the job market as we know it today might be unrecognizable. To put the impending change in perspective, the IMF predicts that technology is going to put about 26 million women out of jobs in 30 countries including Singapore, Cyprus and 28 OECD nations.

Globally, 11 percent of women are facing the risk of losing their jobs to better technology and automation as opposed to just 4 percent of their male counterparts whose livelihoods are threatened by tech, said Christine Lagarde, IMF President, at the annual meetings of IMF and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.

Aging population is a reality when it comes to the women in the workforce as well. Most of these jobs that can be automated are fulfilled by low-skilled women who are above 40 years of age.

An aging labor force translates into a digital divide. Moreover, when gender is added to the equation, the digital gender gap becomes wider to bridge.

These women’s jobs are 70 percent more likely to get displaced by automation by 2038, according to the Gender, Technology, and the Future of Work report published by the IMF.

Building a tech-oriented skill set is the way forward for women in these manual jobs. Providing easy access to educational facilities and creating programs to bridge the digital divide between men and women is essential. Otherwise, about 26 million women are facing unemployment and are unequipped to earn a livelihood due to lack of relevant skills.

Improved access to internet is one way to bridge the digital gap, the panelists said.

Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesian Minister of Finance, wants to add more women into the labor force and in leadership positions so as to create the next generation of skilled women workforce.

This data from the Gender, Technology, and the Future of Work report, from the International Monetary Fund, can help in shaping current policies that will upskill the existing female workforce to gear up and get better jobs that would suit the changing landscape.

Topics: #GlobalPerspective, Diversity

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