Hyderabad: While Robotics and Automation threaten jobs in the Information Technology industry, not everyone is at the same risk of losing jobs.
The rate at which disruptions are taking place in the technology sector, automation will initially impact women in the workforce more than men.
Technology, instead of bridging the gender gap, will foster gender disparity for the next decade.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, a large proportion of the workers to be affected by labour market disruptions will be female. This will lead to an imbalance between the roles that men and women perform in organisations. Women often dominate secretarial and administrative assistant roles that face the highest risk of redundancy in automation.
Another report, by PriceWaterhouse Coopers, says that ultimately, it is going to be men who will be the most affected. This report identified three waves of automation: the algorithm wave, the augmentation wave, and the autonomy wave. The first two waves put women at high risk of losing jobs, but the third wave is going to impact men much more.
In the algorithmic wave, which is already underway and involves automating structured data analysis and simple digital tasks, women will be impacted the most by the early 2020s. Men are likely to feel the effects heavily in the third wave, the autonomy wave, which will hit by the mid-2030s.
In the autonomy wave, Artificial Intelligence will be able to analyse data from multiple sources, make decisions and take physical actions with little or no human input.
Even in the second wave, of augmentation, which will hit in the late 2020s, where the financial and insurance industry will see automation, women will still be marginally more exposed but the gap will be narrowing.
The report states: ‘The share of jobs that could be impacted by automation is estimated to rise to 30 per cent by the mid-2030s, as autonomous robots and driverless vehicles roll out more widely across the economy’.
Some ethnic groups are also more likely to work in low-skill ‘automatable’ occupations. According to the World Economic Forum, Asian workers are 11 per cent less likely to lose their jobs, compared to women from countries such as the US, UK, and African-Americans.
This is attributed to the increasing number of women pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in Asian countries.
Experts suggest that up-skilling by constant training and gaining relevant work experience can bridge the gap between women and men.