In the coming year, women will find themselves losing job opportunities to not just men, but technology too, according to a recent IMF study that was shared with LinkedIn as part of its 2019 predictions report.
Online social network platform for professionals LinkedIn released its annual global list of 50 Big Ideas for 2019 and 30 Big Ideas for 2019: What India can expect in the year ahead report, which includes a compilation of forecasts by authors, business leaders, academicians, and journalists on the key trends to watch out for in the year ahead.
Among these ideas was one on how automation would disproportionately impact women’s jobs in 2019, according to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who cites a recent study by the IMF.
“The automation trend is especially challenging for women because they tend to be employed in more routine tasks than men across all sectors and occupations, making them more prone to automation,” Lagarde shared with LinkedIn.
IMF estimates that 26 million women’s jobs in 30 countries are at high risk of being displaced by technology in the next 20 years. This means 180 million women’s jobs globally.
LinkedIn's latest global and India-focused reports included predictions on a range of trends and themes that influencers expect will dominate in the year 2019. These ranged from the economy to the impact of Brexit on the European political scene to the application of AI and the next social movement that the world can expect next year.
As part of LinkedIn India's 30 Big Ideas for 2019, influencers pointed to a likely return in coalition politics in India, the possible impact of the US-China cold war on Indian equity investors, and the focus on workforce diversity for Human Resources heads, among others.
Need for better skills
To be clear, the study says that six of the 15 hot emerging jobs of the past year relate to artificial intelligence (AI). But Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, opined that women need help to get the skills they need to succeed.
“Education and training will be key — including greater emphasis on lifelong learning and STEM,” she says, giving examples of coding programs like Girls Who Code in the US, or tax deductions for training like in the Netherlands.
She stressed that gender gaps in leadership positions should be closed and women must have equal access to finance, bank accounts and connectivity.
But there is little good news for women workforce. In 2018, the courageous #MeToo movement took down several powerful men from the journalism, media and entertainment industries in India. Although LinkedIn India’s 30 Big Ideas for 2019 finds that influencers believe the movement will now spread to mid-level leaders and less visible industries, some disgraced executives will make a comeback.
According to LinkedIn's 50 Big Ideas for 2019, LinkedIn Influencers and Top Voice honorees also believe creativity and soft skills will be more important in the coming year because these jobs can’t be automated.
On the other hand, they express hope that diversity in the workforce will be a core priority for employers in 2019.
The LinkedIn report also shows that influencers believe that for the first time in modern history, five generations – including Gen Z - will be working side by side. It said,
“While most big companies are already trying to move the needle on gender balance, the scope of inclusion will expand to differently-abled professionals, and an out and the proud LGBTQ community."
Nathan SV, Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte India, expects the part-time work culture to cut across age and experience as retirees, early retirees, and young mothers look to restart their careers.
“Project-based hiring suits employers too since mid-to-senior-level employees drive up payroll costs. Net-net, organisations will be gauged on how well they manage the integration process, predicts the HR influencer,” he shares with LinkedIn.