This is the era where low-level jobs such that usually involve physical work such as factory labor or assembly type manufacturing is start being replaced by machine and automation. The automation brings a whole new advantage to the company where they will be able to cut the labor cost and increase their productivity.
On the other hand, labor is facing the threat of losing their job because of automation. Globally, this threat is affecting everyone, both man and woman. But in Asia, the woman faces a greater threat due to various reasons.
The IMF President, Christine Lagarde, gives this statement during an IMF forum in Bali, Indonesia, in 2018. She said that new technologies, in the form of automation and artificial intelligence could eradicate up to 180 million jobs for women on a global scale.
The number is staggering, if there are 180 million jobs lost to the machine, how many people will be affected by it? Another data from IMF also shows that in 30 countries, including Singapore and Cyprus, there are at least 54 million workers at high risk of losing their job within the next two decades because their position was replaced by technology.
Many companies around the world have started using automation and artificial intelligence in their company. For example, some companies in Russia has started using a robot to conduct initial job interview, while other companies use a different kind of approaches, but nevertheless, they all based on this new technology.
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What makes women in Asia face a greater threat of losing their job to automation compared to other countries around the world? This is because most women in Asia perform a routine task such as being a clerk and labors in factories, and there are fewer that work on something that requires interpersonal and analytical skill. This simple fact alone implies that woman face a greater risk of losing their job to automation compared to man.
The next question is what can people do about it? Losing a job means losing a source of income and it will affect their lives in so many ways.
In the same forum, the President of IMF noted the importance of investing in human capital. Asia is a region with a fast growing-population. Investing in human capital in such region is critical to ensure that everyone is able to adapt to the ever-changing technology that affecting their life without having to worry about losing their job.
As for the leader of Asia’s country itself, they need to create policies that will equip female workers with the required skill, close gender gaps in leader position that stop a woman from reaching the top, and also bridge the digital gender divide. In the term of jobs skill, position, training, and leadership, woman need to be equipped to be equal with men. This way, they will be better equipped to deal with the challenge that comes with automation and able to secure their position against this threat.