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Women hit harder by digital transformation

The authors of a new study of the World Economic Forum demand nothing less than an "occupational retraining" revolution. By 2026, 1.4 million jobs in the U.S. alone are threatened by digital transformation – with women's jobs at highest risk.

05 Feb. 2018
David Schahinian
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In concrete terms, 57% of affected jobs are performed by women. This is an alarming development, as women are already underrepresented on the job market in the areas set to see the strongest growth in the years to come. They also have fewer options than men to change jobs according to the WEF study .

But there is some positive news: With the right retraining, 95% of the employees at highest risk could find high-quality, better paid work. A win-win situation for everyone: Employees that complete retraining for two years on average could see an average annual salary increase of 15,000 US dollars. Employers in turn benefit because they can fill positions that would otherwise remain vacant.

The study carried out in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group emphasizes the necessity of training initiatives. Income support and measures for workplace adjustment are named as examples. According to the study, the greatest obstacle is the willingness of managers to make these investments.

Industry 4.0 is neither a job driver nor killer, verifies the Institute for Job Market and Occupational Research (IAB). However, experts there also expect significant job displacement between individual industries and professional fields: "Education and further training are more important than ever to shape this transformation process."