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Nearly 80% of women’s jobs at risk from generative AI, new research finds

Generative AI is expected to put nearly 80% of women’s jobs at risk
Generative AI is expected to put nearly 80% of women’s jobs at risk Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Imane El Atillah
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According to new research, a disproportionate number of jobs held by women are at risk of automation due to the emergence of generative AI.


The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) has for long been criticised for its potential impact on the job market, as people fear losing their jobs or seeing the most valuable parts of their daily tasks automated by computer systems.

A recent Goldman Sachs report showed that the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs in the US and Europe being at risk of automation because of the disruptive technology.

However, the impact on jobs may not be at all equal.

As some jobs are more easily automated than others, and taking into consideration gender distribution in the job market, women may bear the biggest losses due to generative AI, according to new research.

“You've got in the men's part, this 50-50 split between white collar and blue collar jobs. But in the women's part, you've got 70 per cent are in white collar, 30 per cent in blue collar,” Mark McNeilly, professor of the practice of marketing at the Kenan-Flagler school and lead author of the research, told Euronews Next.

“And so, just from that simple fact that there's more women in this space that's affected - which is cognitive jobs - then more women are impacted,” he added.

Despite men outnumbering women in the workforce, the research shows that generative AI is expected to put more women at risk of losing their jobs than men.

This is because 79 per cent of working women are employed in occupations susceptible to AI disruption and automation.

"It's nothing inherent necessarily in generative AI; it also tends to be a function of the types of jobs that women might be in," McNeilly told Euronews Next.

"But there's a lot of office positions that might be significantly impacted as well. Those are generally across a lot of different industries. So, office administrative support occupations, about 70 per cent of those are filled by women. That's going to be one that's going to be hit pretty significantly and it's also a sizeable population of jobs," he added.

Other industries where jobs are occupied mostly by women that are expected to be impacted by the adoption of AI include healthcare (76 per cent) and education (73 per cent) and community and social services (67 per cent).

How to adapt to the emergence of AI in the job market

While generative AI has the potential to suppress or partially automate various jobs, it also offers huge opportunities for job creation.

Historically, when machines were used to replace human workers for higher productivity and less cost, there was an emergence of new jobs that didn’t exist before.

Moreover, AI can also be helpful in industries thanks to the technology’s ability to automate boring repetitive tasks of different jobs that are not susceptible to displacement and full automation.

"If you take healthcare professionals, for example, which, as we talked about, over 70 per cent of the people in there are women. You might have generative AI where it can answer questions from patients, it can help give advice to healthcare professionals on diagnoses and in prescriptive approaches," McNeilly said.

"By doing that and helping the patient answer questions on their own, it might free up more time for that healthcare professional to spend more time with that patient".

"And we have a shortage of healthcare professionals. And so those folks should actually see perhaps more meaning in their jobs and would not be, you know, laid off or lose value in their jobs".

In the era of AI, effectively navigating the job market demands a shift in mindset regarding the essential skills required for task completion.


Using all the knowledge acquired by being exposed to AI, workers should strive to "pick it up, adopt it, learn how to use it well, and then set themselves apart," McNeilly argues.

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