The Changing Role of Women in the Workplace

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has sparked many positive and surprising changes, not the least of which is a more gender-balanced workforce.

Women who participated in the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report cite a lack of work-life balance (44%) and unconscious biases among managers in the workplace (44%) as the primary barriers to achieving gender parity. But technology has helped drive change, allowing for more flexible work patterns.

As more employers focus on results rather than physical presence in the workplace and recognize the importance of work-life balance, the dual burden that many women face—a career and domestic responsibilities—has decreased.

Mindsets are shifting as well. More companies are aware of how unconscious bias plays out in recruiting practices. As a result, they’re ensuring policies don’t perpetuate gender inequality, while seeking female managers.

Although the gender gap persists in growing industries like architecture, engineering and computers, managers are cognizant that future success means seeking a diversity of top talent. In tech, for instance, 37% of companies considered enhancing women’s workforce participation part of expanding the talent pool.

By 2020, the World Economic Forum predicts a 10 % increase in women in senior roles. If that’s the case, women are poised to have more economic power than ever before.

Source: World Economic Forum, 2016.


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