BCG predicts how AI might affect women in the workforce

June 05, 20191 minute read

Boston Consulting Group has published early predictions about whether artificial intelligence will have a positive or negative impact on women’s careers. Questions raised in a special report include: How will AI impact women and their jobs? How will it affect the number of women in the workforce? And how might it exacerbate—or mitigate—the current gender gap in the corporate-leadership pipeline?

Preliminary projections are cause for concern. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that 11% of jobs currently held by women (a higher percentage than those currently held by men) are at risk of elimination as a result of AI and other digital technologies.

The BCG authors go on to say they believe the outcome can be made more positive if steps are taken now, including reskilling women for jobs that are less likely to be eliminated (STEM jobs) and stepping up progress on closing the gender gap in the leadership pipeline.

The report warns that biased data could pose a risk for women’s advancement by perpetuating and exacerbating gender bias if AI applications are not carefully designed, but also cites several areas where AI could have a positive effect for women: Yielding solutions for improving employee retention and advancement and lightening the load on the homefront.