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GenAI a door-opener for women

The hiring of women into leadership roles continues to decline but GenAI presents an opportunity to help close the gender gap. Women are pushing forward with their own technical upskilling. Since 2016, the share of female AI talent and the concentration of women working in AI engineering has grown significantly, argues Sue Duke, head of global public policy at Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, in a blog post for World Economic Forum. 

“This new technology calls for new skills: LinkedIn predicts the skillsets required for jobs globally will change by as much as 68% by 2030. Many of these will be soft, interpersonal skills that help us work well together, such as team leadership, strategic leadership and collaboration. Of the soft skills listed on LinkedIn, women were found to have a 28% higher share than men.”

“Women face systemic challenges in accessing senior positions across all countries and sectors, undermining economic growth.”

“Women have always paid a heavy price for economic instability. And with the global labour market cooling down from the hiring frenzy of 2020 and 2021, it is female professionals who are losing out. As hiring slows, the marginal progress made in recent years to increase the number of women in leadership is being wiped out.”

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She writes that LinkedIn data shows that women are less likely than last year to reach a leadership position, which is bad news for women and bad news for the economy. In 2022, the global hiring rate for women into leadership roles topped 38%. It has fallen each year since and is now down to 36%.

“It’s a slow but steady downward trend that we’re seeing globally, including in major economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France. This decline should set off alarm bells across sectors and countries; female representation at the leadership level has risen by less than 1% in six years (30.9% to 31.7%).”

“Policymakers must enable and demand actions that businesses must take to support women as they move through their careers to open doors which might otherwise be closed.”

“The evidence shows flexible working policies also help women, who typically apply for more hybrid and remote roles than men. We know that care responsibilities can disproportionately impact women, so workplaces must have policies that counteract this imbalance.”

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