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Over 180 mn jobs for women at high risk of being displaced globally: IMF

Jobs are likely to grow in traditionally female-dominated sectors

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Gender pay gap
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As many as 180 million for women are at high risk of being displaced globally due to new technologies like automation, the IMF warned Tuesday.

The global financial institution urged the world leadership to endow women with requisite skills, close in leadership positions, bridge the digital divide and ease transition for workers.

In a note released during the annual (IMF) and the World Bank meetings in Bali, the world body said that the figures of massive potential for women is based on its estimate of 30 countries, which includes 28 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and Cyprus and Singapore.

It also rued that the new technologies could further drive down demand and reduce relative wages for the routine tasks that women perform, lowering returns from labour market participation.

The IMF said its results indicate that, given the current state of technology, 10 per cent of the male and (54 million workers) in 30 countries (28 OECD member countries, Cyprus, and Singapore) is at a high risk (facing higher than 70 per cent likelihood of being automated) of being displaced by technology within the next two decades.

A larger proportion of the is at high risk for than the male workforce (11 per cent versus 9 per cent), with 26 million potentially at stake in these countries.

Less well-educated and older (aged 40 and older), and those in clerical, service, and sales positions are disproportionately exposed to

"Extrapolating our results, we find that 180 million are at high risk of being displaced by globally," the IMF said.

In its discussion note, the IMF rued that women are under-represented in sectors anticipating jobs growth, where technological changes can be complementary to human skills.

As such it called for endowing women with the requisite skills, closing the in leadership positions, bridging the digital divide and easing transition for workers.

Women, it said, appear less endowed with some of the skills needed to thrive in the digital era: they are currently under-represented in sectors anticipating jobs growth, such as engineering and Information and Communications Technology. At the same time, there are some bright spots, it noted.

Jobs are likely to grow in traditionally female-dominated sectors such as health, education, and social services, jobs requiring cognitive and interpersonal skills and thus less prone to automation.

However, across sectors and occupations, under-representation of women in professional and managerial positions leaves them at greater risk for displacement, the IMF said.

Observing that the depth and speed of future and technology diffusion across countries as well as their impact on jobs are largely unknown, the note said that as such, its estimates and extrapolation should be interpreted with caution.

"Second, jobs at risk of automation is not the same thing as actual 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," it said.

According to the IMF, the Routine Task Intensity index, on average, is 13 per cent higher for across its sample of 30 countries: a result that is statistically significant.

perform fewer tasks requiring analytical and interpersonal skills or physical labour, and more tasks that are routine, characterised 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.

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 10:20 IST