The future of work has emerged as a major policy topic in recent years with people talking about the fourth industrial revolution that will transform the global economy and society in an unprecedented manner. Industries are already undergoing profound shifts in their business models as digitalisation is changing the business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities. Labour markets are also rapidly changing in this context. As a result, gender gaps are set to increase in some industries as jobs traditionally held by women become obsolete, while at the same time opportunities are emerging in wholly new domains.
Whether digitalisation will close or widen gender gaps in the labour market will, to a large extent, depend on policy. Widening inequalities are a continuing megatrend and the imperative need to tackle them is a core part of the global commitment to’ Leave no one Behind’, in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The mandate is clear: Governments have a crucial role to play in terms of economic benefits, skills, education, and job opportunities. For this reason, it is important to establish a series of priorities and long term commitments that should include:
- Promote female participation in STEM
- Identify knowledge gaps in the area of gender-related opportunities and risks of digitalization
- Measure the effects of digitalisation on work, earnings and knowledge from a gender and intersectional perspective in order to ensure that women have more possibilities to maintain a sustained career progression as well as continuous training.
- Strategic policy making to ensure that the right tools are in place for the promotion of women and their inclusion in the new digital workforce.