180 million jobs for women at high risk globally: IMF
As many as 180 million jobs for women are at high risk of being displaced globally due to new technologies like automation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned today. The global financial institution urged the world leadership to endow women with requisite skills, close gender gap in leadership positions, bridge the digital divide and ease transition for workers. Here's more on what IMF said.
IMF's figures based on estimates of 30 countries
In a note released during the annual IMF-World Bank meetings in Bali (Indonesia), IMF said that the figures of potential job loss for women are based on its estimate of 30 countries, of which 28 are OECD nations and two are Cyprus and Singapore.
Technologies could further reduce relative wages for routine tasks: IMF
The IMF also rued that new technologies could further drive down demand and reduce relative wages for routine tasks that women perform, lowering returns from labor market participation. The IMF said 10% of male and female workforce (54mn workers) in 30 countries is at a high risk of being displaced by technology within the next two decades.
Less educated, older female workers disproportionately exposed to automation
A larger proportion of female workforce is at high risk for automation than males (11% versus 9%), with 26mn female jobs at stake. Less educated and older females (aged 40+), and those in clerical, service, and sales positions are disproportionately exposed to automation. The IMF rued that women are under-represented in sectors anticipating job growth, where technological changes can be complementary to human skills.
Not all is bad, there are some bright spots too
In some sectors such as engineering and Information and Communications Technology, women are currently under-represented, said IMF in its discussion note, adding, such under-representation in professional and managerial positions leaves them at greater risk for displacement. However, there are some bright spots.
Jobs likely to grow in traditionally female-dominated sectors
Jobs are likely to grow in traditionally female-dominated sectors such as health, education, and social services, which require cognitive and interpersonal skills, the Washington DC-based body pointed out. Wrapping up, IMF said, its estimates and extrapolation should be interpreted with caution, as depth and speed of future technological advancement, diffusion across countries and their impact on jobs is still largely unknown.
"Jobs at risk of automation different from actual job loss"
"Second, jobs at risk of automation is not the same thing as actual job loss," the IMF said. "Our estimates of potential impacts of automation consider only technical feasibility given the current state of technology." "Job losses could potentially be offset by new work opportunities created by technology and higher output potential owing to falling costs and prices," the world body said.
Women more exposed to automation than men. Why? IMF decodes
According to the IMF, the Routine Task Intensity index, on average, is 13% higher for female workers. Female workers perform fewer tasks requiring analytical and interpersonal skills or physical labor, and more tasks that are routine, characterized by lack of job flexibility, little learning on the job, and greater repetitiveness. "This implies that women are more exposed to automation than men," the IMF added.