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Women's talents to be rewarded when workplaces use AI.

Women will be empowered at workplace using AI

Women will benefit from the increased use of artificial intelligence in labour markets. “The new, automated workplace will be one that empowers and rewards women’s talents as an increasingly urgent business performance strategy”, writes in Fortune associate professor Grace Lordan, founding director of  the Inclusion Initiative at London School of Economics.

“Analysis of international workforce data indicates that the jobs that require abstract thinking and interpersonal skills are the least likely to be threatened by the introduction of AI Strikingly, these soft skills entail attributes that have traditionally been characterized as “feminine”.

“Rather than apocalyptic visions of mass redundancy, AI’s restructuring of the labour market must be reimagined as an opportunity to finally deliver on corporate diversity pledges that in turn benefit the bottom line. Now more than ever, for successful businesses, the future really is feminist.”

“As the relentless advance of AI continues to gain momentum, so too does the growing chorus of alarmist voices predicting its destruction of countless jobs”, Lordan writes. 

Read Also:  Women's jobs more at risk from artificial intelligence

She reminds readers that big tech layoffs claimed more than 150 000 jobs throughout 2022 alone, with Goldman Sachs predicting that 300 million jobs will ultimately be lost or degraded by artificial intelligence. 

“Yet whilst the perils of AI’s devaluation of professional skills have been charted in lurid detail, little attention has been paid to the equally significant professional opportunities that this upheaval will generate.”

She writes that not only will the workforce look dramatically different in terms of the types and number of jobs available, but we should also see an increased representation of women in senior leadership positions as a result. 

“With skills traditionally associated with women becoming increasingly important to ensure success alongside AI, this sea change provides a compelling incentive for firms to commit to driving mutually beneficial advances in gender representation in the workplace.”

“To achieve more sustainable growth, innovation must be built on a collaborative vision of success rather than cutthroat competition or tribalism. This inclusive dynamic must be driven by empathetic leaders who encourage open dialogue between diverse–and potentially dissenting–voices within the organization, actively combat confirmation bias, and promote more agile decision-making.”

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“As disruptive technology demands an equally radical attitude from businesses, the temptation to justify clinging to the status quo by seeking biased evidence can be fatal.”

“The case for championing an innovative and supportive culture is more compelling than ever. This inclusive innovation model stands to benefit women, who are typically penalized for exhibiting the same assertiveness that is praised as evidence of “grit” and “innovation” in male leaders.”

“As firms reward and incentivize empathetic leaders with increased salaries and promotions, women will at last be rewarded for the traits that were traditionally perceived as a weakness–and thus a barrier to progression–in professional environments.”

A US study by McKinsey says that 30% of what employees do today can be automated by 2030 – a trend accelerated by generative AI.  

Pew Research Center predicts a greater share of women (21%) than men (17%) are likely to see the most exposure to AI. 

Generative AI is enhancing the way STEM, creative, and business and legal professionals work rather than eliminating a significant number of jobs outright, according to McKinsey. 

About a fifth of all workers have high-exposure jobs; women, Asian, college-educated and higher-paid workers are more exposed. But those in the most exposed industries are more likely to say AI will help more than hurt them personally, Pew Research Center says in a report.

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Office support, customer service, and food service employment could continue to decline. Workers in lower-wage jobs are up to 14 times more likely to need to change occupations than those in highest-wage positions, and most will need additional skills to do so successfully. Women are 1.5 times more likely to need to move into new occupations than men, according to the McKinsey study.

.McKinsey findings:

  • Federal investment to address climate and infrastructure, as well as structural shifts, will also alter labour demand. The net-zero transition will shift employment away from oil, gas, and automotive manufacturing and into green industries for a modest net gain in employment. Infrastructure projects will increase demand in construction, which is already short almost 400 000 workers today. We also see increased demand for healthcare workers as the population ages, plus gains in transportation services due to e-commerce.
  • An additional 12 million occupational transitions may be needed by 2030. As people leave shrinking occupations, the economy could reweight toward higher-wage jobs. 
  • The United States will need workforce development on a far larger scale as well as more expansive hiring approaches from employers. Employers will need to hire for skills and competencies rather than credentials, recruit from overlooked populations (such as rural workers and people with disabilities), and deliver training that keeps pace with their evolving needs.
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