Women Work in 58% of the Jobs That Won’t Survive the Future

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Posted By Paula Nourse

Millions of new employment opportunities are coming. Let’s get ready!

That’s the good news. The bad news is that too many women — who make up about 47 percent of the U.S. workforce — are working in fields and armed with skills that are most at risk to the fourth technological revolution that’s presumed to usher in the new prosperity.

Nearly a quarter of American women may lose their current jobs as automation renders them unnecessary, warns the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, or IWPR, citing a study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

McKinsey’s study of the top two economies — the U.S. and China — found that 107 million jobs filled by women could be automated by 2030, affecting 20% of working women. In the U.S., specifically, the study found automation threatens 24% of jobs predominately filled by females and 26% of jobs predominately filled by males.

University of North Texas at Dallas Coding Camp

The IWPR’s mission is to prepare girls and young women globally for technology related jobs by conducting and communicating research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy and improve the lives and opportunities of females from all walks of life.   

Today, as I mentioned, females represent nearly three in five of employees working in industries at the highest risk for automation.  

Right now, about 72% percent of secretarial, administrative and bookkeeping jobs are occupied by females. Women also dominate in service industries, an economic segment that includes restaurants.

The technological transformation already has taken root, and the changes will only increase. Girls and young women must development interest in and skills for jobs that will be relevant 30 years from now. If predictions are correct, male-dominated jobs will disappear due to technology; female-dominated positions will pass on to artificial intelligence.  World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab and WEF board member Richard Samans introduce us to the concept of a new Industrial Revolution in a 2016 Future of Jobs Report, which covers 2016 to 2010.

As we are at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will dominate by 2030, we can see the developments today in manufacturing, genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology. These disciplines are all building on and amplifying one another and will lay the foundation for a revolution more comprehensive and all-encompassing than anything we have ever seen, including the Industrial Revolution of the mid-18th through the early-19th centuries.

Smart systems—homes, factories, farms, grids, or cities—will help tackle problems ranging from supply-chain management to climate change. The rise of the sharing economy will allow people to monetize everything from their empty houses to their cars. 

Again, there’s a silver lining in all this. McKinsey projects 171 million new female-dominated positions that can replace many of the jobs lost by 2030, with women likely to hold most of the slots in health care. Girls and young women must begin or continue to focus on education in science, technology, engineering and medicine/math, or STEM. 

The push for STEM by industry, educational institutions, and parents over the last decade has achieved some success. Students today are twice as likely to study STEM fields compared to their parents, according to Emerson’s August 2018 survey.  However, the number of roles requiring STEM expertise is growing at a rate that exceeds current workforce capacity. In manufacturing alone, the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte predict the U.S. will need to fill about 3.5 million jobs by 2025; yet as many as 2 million of those jobs may go unfilled, due to difficulty finding people with the skills in demand.

Yes, the jobs are coming. Now, we must make sure our workforce, particularly women, collectively is ready to meet the challenge.

University of Texas at Dallas Coding Camp

National Air and Space Museum

What can you do to prepare the next generations?
1. Inspire children’s interest in STEM subjects. Encouraged their interest in STEM with hands on experiences. Frequent creative hands on museums such as:
City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri;
Spark! In Dallas, Texas
National Air and Space Museum
National Building Museum in Washington, DC
Perot Science Museum in Dallas, TX
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
⦁ Museum of Science, Boston, MA
Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, AR
2. Enroll your children in space camps, robotics camps, engineering camps, science camps, coding camps, computer science camps, or STEM camps.
3. Read more to stay informed.
CBS News: Eric Morath, Labor, Economics & Policy Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Best Careers for the Future: 51 Jobs for 2020 and Way Beyond!
TechGirlz and TechShopz
Survey on STEM workers
Explore new learning environments such as those that partner with industry.

Tags: STEM Future Jobs, Future Jobs Outlook Inequality

City Museum, St. Louis

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One thought on “Women Work in 58% of the Jobs That Won’t Survive the Future
  1. Susan

    This topic has been a focus of mine as the mother of a girl who will soon be heading off to college. Thank you for writing about it! A few additional resources that might be of interest to readers:

    The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Dallas chapter holds a Design Your World (DYW) program ( to introduce girls to engineering once or twice a year. The last one was held on November 2 at Woodrow Wilson High School for 4th – 10th grade girls. I highly recommend the parent program too. Interested parents/students should join SWENext ( for information and opportunities in their area. It’s free to join. If in Dallas, get on the SWE Dallas chapter’s mailing list for the next DYW event. Side note – Woodrow Wilson H.S. has what appears to be a fantastic STEM center.

    The SWE National Organization recently held their WE’19 annual conference in Anaheim. 25 girls presented posters on how to get more middle and high school girls involved in STEM, and how do we get them to stick with it as they plan for college. Posters are here –

    Girls in Aviation Day is a free event held in September in Dallas at the Frontiers of Flight Museum – It’s for girls 8-16 years old and chaperones.

    IF/THEN is a new Lyda Hill Philanthropies initiative to help further advance women in STEM – Follow their posts on Instagram – They had a big kick-off at the Perot Museum recently with their Ambassadors.

    I discovered Dallas Public Libraries have free coding programs and other STEM activities — some co-ed and some just for girls. Many libraries have opened makerspaces too. Definitely something to check out!

    Love this museum for anyone in Shreveport, LA or planning to visit there –

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