HomeLearning CenterThe AI Revolution Will Also Be a Gender Revolution

The AI Revolution Will Also Be a Gender Revolution

Originally published by Grace Lordan for Fortune 

As the relentless advance of A.I. continues to gain momentum, so too does the growing chorus of alarmist voices predicting its destruction of countless jobs. Undeniably, companies’ recent moves to streamline their operations through artificial intelligence paint a stark picture for the labor market. Big Tech layoffs claimed more than 150,000 jobs throughout 2022 alone, with Goldman Sachs predicting that 300 million jobs will ultimately be lost or degraded by artificial intelligence. Yet whilst the perils of A.I.’s devaluation of professional skills have been charted in lurid detail, little attention has been paid to the equally significant professional opportunities that this upheaval will generate.

Analysis of international workforce data indicates that the jobs that require abstract thinking and interpersonal skills are the least likely to be threatened by the introduction of A.I. For firms to remain competitive as A.I. undercuts their existing offerings, innovative employees will become crucial to developing new products, services, and income streams. Equally important will be empathetic leaders who are capable of cultivating a workplace culture that empowers these innovators to excel.

Strikingly, these soft skills entail attributes that have traditionally been characterized as “feminine.” Beyond clumsy stereotyping, this association of women with specific professional traits is well documented in both labor market statistics and academic research. In fact, from a young age, girls have been found to demonstrate a greater preference for jobs with higher brain and people content than boys. This trend continues into the workplace, as employment data from across the U.S. and U.K. reveals that women are 31% and 57% more likely to choose jobs that are people-oriented than their male counterparts.

The advantage that A.I. will afford these jobs therefore promises to shake up the labor market in more ways than one. Not only will the workforce look dramatically different in terms of the types and number of jobs available, but we should also see an increased representation of women in senior leadership positions as a result. With skills traditionally associated with women becoming increasingly important to ensure success alongside A.I., this sea change provides a compelling incentive for firms to commit to driving mutually beneficial advances in gender representation in the workplace.

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