Why aren’t more people talking about how AI could be the best thing that has ever happened to women in the workplace?
Is it true that technology (AI, Robotics, Machine Learning) will take over most jobs we currently think of as highly skilled?
With the rise of technology and with it productivity, will skills such as empathy, collaboration and compassion become the most valuable skillset? If yes, does that mean this is a spectacular time to be a woman?
Now, we could dive into the semantics of whether compassion, collaboration and empathy are uniquely feminine, but I believe we are too far gone and have been declined far too many opportunities because of these skills, for anyone to deny it now. Women have these skills in droves, arguably more than our male counterparts.
With regards to the above questions, my response at this stage is “I don’t know, but it sure does look promising”.
Here is what I do know, COVID-19 changed the way we work so fundamentally and cause a rapid acceleration in technology advances.
The global pandemic fast forwarded work practices at about five times speed. This has left leaders grappling with the ‘people problem’ and desperately needing collaboration, self re-enforcing teams, and empathy, in a dispersed working environment. The old rules no longer apply. Managers are having to adapt, away from a command and control style of leadership, to a more collaboration centered approach.
This is not going to stop or go back to normal, soft skills are in!
Whilst the advancement of technology might not be immediate and will likely take a few years, there is an opportunity for women to position themselves as leaders, as the value of these skills steadily rise, we should also see an increase in opportunities for women. Do not get me wrong, we will all lose jobs to technology, but according to McKinsey, women will lose less jobs than men during the transition and will also gain more jobs than men post tech transition.
So does this mean this is going to be a revolution for women? Only if we choose to accept the mission.
It’s essential that we are a part of the technology movement so that we can co-create this new world, because as we’ve learned from our current way of working, not being involved at the design phase, leaves our unique needs, largely forgotten.
It’s also important for us to understand the technological advances before they occur, so we can spot opportunities. This requires dedicating time to reading up on AI, Robotics, Machine Learning and any other new technologies that will arise. As a starting point, the technology section of your favourite news outlet will do.
There are opportunities, but they will not land on our laps. It’s up to us to fight for them, and if we win – the gains will be transformational.
This is definitely a marathon and not a sprint, will you take this on?.