30 per cent of women fear job loss to automation: Survey

Two-thirds believe employers should offer people different roles

30 per cent of women fear job loss to automation: Survey
Employee Stanaleen Greenman works on processing packages kicked out by the automated scanning and labeling system at the Amazon fulfillment centre in Kent, Wash., on Oct. 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Thirty per cent of working women in Canada, across all sectors, expect they will lose their jobs within the decade due to advances in technology, such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

Women employed in in the manufacturing sector feel the greatest vulnerability (62 per cent) followed by 29 per cent of women working in IT and 24 per cent of women working in retail, according to a survey of 1,201 women released by Randstad Canada.


However, those employed in education, health care, and engineering and construction view their industries as stable.


"Canadians need to remember that behind the technology, there will still be people. An agile mindset — which includes working collaboratively, embracing inclusivity and creative problem-solving — will be the skills that set workers apart in the next decade, across all sectors,” said Carolyn Levy, president of technologies at Randstad Canada.


More than one-third (38 per cent) believe baby boomers have the greatest risk of losing their jobs due to technology, compared to 21 per cent for gen Xers and 13 per cent of millennials.

But more than two-thirds of women (68 per cent) believe men and women are at equal risk of losing their jobs due to automation, found the survey.

Despite job security concerns, more than half (54 per cent) of the employed women surveyed are not doing anything to protect their careers from being negatively impacted by technology.

There is overwhelming consensus that employers have a responsibility to assist the employee: 65 per cent of women believe the employee should be offered a different role within the same organization, while 49 per cent also believe employers should offer retraining, found Randstad.



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