Automation to Disproportionally Affect Working Women
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Automation to Disproportionally Affect Working Women

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Anmol Motwani By Anmol Motwani | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Tue, 11/07/2023 - 10:21

Jobs currently held by women are disproportionally at risk of becoming obsolete as companies accelerate their efforts to leverage automation and AI technologies, according to a 2023 McKinsey report. This development not only amplifies the risk of job loss but also threatens to stifle innovation by limiting diverse viewpoints within organizations, ultimately leading to a decline in revenue

According to the report, by 2030, an estimated 12 million people will find themselves forced to leave shrinking occupations, with women facing a 1.5 times higher likelihood of needing to shift into new roles compared to men. It is anticipated that between 3.7 million and 2 million jobs typically held by women could be displaced by automation respectively, particularly in fields such as office support and customer service. This situation underscores the urgent need for gender-inclusive strategies aimed at addressing the impending employment gap and fostering equality in the face of evolving job markets.

Mexico's food service sector, a significant contributor to the national GDP, stands on the brink of encountering significant labor challenges. In 2022, this industry alone contributed over US$57.6 billion to its GDP, with women constituting 50.1% of the workforce. The looming threat of AI automation intensifies concerns about job displacement, emphasizing the critical need for targeted initiatives. Nevertheless, this timeline may be affected by domestic willingness to invest in automation technologies and their ability to educate end consumers effectively, says Mauricio Corona, CEO, Gedesig.

“You can create an automated restaurant with robots, but we need to adapt to the market. It is necessary to create an environment so that the robot makes sense amid a cultural transformation of business..,” Corona told Expansion.

Beyond individual job loss, the potential erosion of gender and ethnic diversity due to automation raises a significant concern: it could result in a homogenized workforce, impeding creativity and problem-solving capabilities within companies and industries, as cautioned by the World Economic Forum. This concern is consistently substantiated by market insights, including The Wall Street Journal's corporate ranking, which assesses diversity and inclusion among S&P 500 companies. Their findings reveal that women command a substantial 40% share of global wealth, endowing them with invaluable market insights.

Further reinforcing the advantages of diversity, research from Bloomberg underscores that companies with gender-balanced teams enjoy higher returns on equity. A survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) further bolsters this argument, revealing that companies with higher diversity levels derived 45% of their revenue from innovative products and services introduced in the last three years, while those with lower diversity contributed only 26%. This 19% innovation advantage not only enhances financial performance for diverse teams but also underscores the need for inclusive and forward-thinking workforce strategies.Principio del formulario

"[D]iversity in teams is essential to leverage different perspectives and take companies to their maximum potential," says Antonia Rojas Eing, VC Investor LATAM, Trigono. Therefore, to address the gender gap exacerbated by automation, Mexican companies must prioritize gender-inclusive initiatives, including mentorship programs and upskilling opportunities. Given that Mexico faces one of the largest gender gaps, as noted by the OECD, the country must proactively work towards encouraging more women to pursue STEM careers.


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Photo by:   Goran en Pixabay, Pixabay

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