In a recent issue of Silicon Republic, author and futurist Cheryl Crane, posed the question What will the future of work mean for women? As we move into an AI age where drudge work is being taken away, and robots are assisting in the work that requires strength, Crane feels women are poised to be able to take advantage of many opportunities.
Crane says that women have many of the skills that are going to be needed in the future. Soft skills, such as empathy, will be the hallmarks of future work. Crane does say these are essentially “human” skills, but women may already be positioned to use these soft skills. I mentioned these skills in my post Future Friday: Nine Critical Skills for the Future of HR and Future Friday: Why it will be important for jobs to be more “Human”, both written several years ago. (But then, who listens to me.)
An exciting future
Crane is excited about the future of women. She lists eight reasons for being so excited. These include:
- As technology continues to simplify the work, women can do work that inspires them rather than admin-heavy roles that are soul-sucking.
- Companies are looking to hire more women to solve the talent shortage crisis that is happening globally.
- Programmes such as STEM are creating new opportunities for women in the technology industry and in industries that have been male-dominated.
- Women have more choice in whether they will work for a company, become a leader, start their own business, freelance for multiple clients or provide funding for new businesses.
- Women are being sought to run for political office.
- Women are poised to shift the culture of business along with progressive male counterparts and leaders such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg, who are seeking women to be on their teams.
- Women are influencing the changes needed towards work-life balance and are attracted to work that allows them to have a life, and work fits into that life.
- The possibilities are endless for women at this critical juncture of global change. Women working together with other women and mentoring women will be the new norm.
I was happy to see that Crane did feel that the future is bright for everyone. She says “Really, the future is bright for everyone” but then qualifies that by saying “Specifically for women, there has never been a better time to step up to the opportunities and to see where they can have the most impact….The old days of having to give up your life to achieve are going to be gone. The new way of working will allow for women to create their best life by their own choosing while making an impact through work – and isn’t that true liberation?”
I think we have to be careful in being so excited about opportunities for our daughters that we place so much emphasis on why it is good to be female and forget our sons. Yes, I realize that boys may have had more opportunities than girls in the past, BUT NOT these boys. Let’s make sure we promote opportunities for everyone and not make future boys pay for the mistakes society has made in the past.