December 20th, 2021 | Women in the Job Market of Today: How To Self-Navigate and Put Yourself on the Map To Thrive?
The “U-function” and How It Affects Women In The Job Market
Today, the job market is rapidly shaping due to the rapid progress in technology. Unfortunately, this progress is not always favorable for women and their career professional development.
Namely, what we currently observe, is a U-shaped function of demand for labor with respect to the level of specialization. The most straightforward jobs that require sheer physical strength rather than specialistic knowledge – including simple but physically demanding jobs in construction, manufacturing, engineering, and transport – were traditionally occupied by men. The demand for such jobs is to large extent unaffected by technological progress. Yes, machines support humans in production lines today. Yet still, machines have limited motor abilities and the capacity to learn new tasks compared to human skills.
Similarly, the demand for highly specialistic jobs that require years and years of academic training and cutting-edge skills such as programming machines, developing new tools for fintech, or patentable solutions in wet labs, keeps steady. Or, it even increases in time. Many of the areas of the job market covered under this umbrella are traditionally occupied by men as well.
Many of Traditionally Female-Dominated Professions Are Now In Jeopardy
What does the technological progress imply for the job market and career development strategies then? Well, one direct impact is eliminating jobs that require lightweight work and going through repetitive tasks at: logistics, accountancy, call-centers, or, in office jobs such as a personal assistant or another white collar jobs.
Today, employers and professionals tend to choose automated software to streamline their work. Accountancy is now supported by specialistic software. Online assistants are often replaced by bots. Managers often choose automated self-management tools and handy platforms such as Calendly rather than reaching out for an expensive assistant’s help. Therefore, the number of white collar jobs in these areas will keep on dropping.
Most of the jobs in this category were traditionally occupied by women. Hence the question: how to effectively self-navigate as a female professional in the job market of today? How to make sure that there is enough room to grow and guarantee a career development process? How to choose a profession that won’t get marginalized by technology in a perspective of the next ten to twenty years?
Possible Cures To The Problem
Of course, there are as many possible paths for growth and career development for women as there are for men. It’s all a matter of strategizing and developing functional career development strategies. To name just a few possibilities:
1. Mathematics and Finance. As it was demonstrated by research, women have the same ability to comprehend mathematics as men. Yet, they do not choose studies related to mathematics as eagerly as men. Why is this? Well, gender stereotypes still play a role when it comes to choosing career paths and career development.
Sadly, this disproportion is also clearly visible when it comes to economy, finance, and fintech. Media and social media related to these topics are followed in 90-95% by men. Ladies exhibit less interest in the recent developments in financial markets, even though, according to research, on average they make better investors than men.
Therefore, if you are a lady who has never spent a significant amount of time on learning statistics and economy in adult life, perhaps it’s time to start. You might discover some new talent in the process. And if you catch the bug, you might successfully enter one of the fastest-growing industries today and put your career development on the next level.
2. Computer Science / Data Science. Similarly, as in the case of mathematics or economy, women have equal capacity to learn programming as men. Today, programming skills are compulsory, not only when it comes to programming software but also laboratory work. Employers prefer technicians and researchers who can analyze their own data and program their own experiments, rather than those who are dependent on their team members.
Programming skills are a nice extra on a resume regardless of your profession. It is a proof that you can think logically, formulate logically structured commands, and clearly communicate with a machine. Even if you are not planning to make programming a part of your career development strategy, taking a class in programming can be an enriching experience. It can give you an extra boost of confidence in your professional life.
3. Empathy. One of the qualities that are the hardest to replace by AI, is empathy in every meaning of the word: from the sense of humor, through art, to sympathy. Women are naturally empathetic and perform well in professions that require empathy, from sales, through the whole medical sector, teaching, to leadership.
Therefore, if you have an office job, make sure that there is some human element to it. Namely, that instead of just giving information (that could be potentially automatized as a process), you also solve problems and communicate on a deeper level: console, persuade, entertain, teach, coach.
4. Communication. Women have strong verbal skills. On average, they score substantially higher than men. Luckily, today, dozens of new professions pivot around effective communication. Social media representative, online content creator, communications officer, community builder, digital marketing expert – all these new communication-based professions are challenging, as they require cognitive flexibility, aggregating knowledge from many sources, and excellent communication skills.
In this area of the job market, bots are not welcome. Therefore, most likely, AI will not take over in the foreseeable future. Moreover, as a woman, you have a natural advantage, as women naturally get more credit of trust than men when it comes to online communication. Additionally, women have a strong work ethic and character traits of a good employee.
Summary: Many New Directions For Women In the Job Market
In summary, you have plenty of opportunities for growth and career development as a female professional in the job market of today. The key to success is investing in one of two directions for professional development: either cutting-edge hard skills such as knowledge of statistics or laboratory skills (preferably matched with some programming skills), or soft skills directly related to other people: empathy and communication skills. Once you get there, your possibilities for career development are endless!
Please cite as:
Bielczyk, N. (2021, December, 20th). Women in the Job Market of Today: How To Self-Navigate and Put Yourself on the Map To Thrive? Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/women-in-the-job-market-of-today-how-to-self-navigate-and-put-yourself-on-the-map-to-thrive/
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