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Ooredoo supports launch of WEF's Industry Gender Gap Report.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will have a "disproportionately negative impact" on the economic prospects of women, although the emphasis on talent brought about by sweeping changes caused by disruptions to the labour force will result in more women progressing into senior positions, a new study by the World Economic Forum has found.

According to 'The Industry Gender Gap Report', the burden of job losses that will result from automation and disintermediation as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will impact women and men relatively equally, with 52% of the 5.1mn net job losses expected globally between now and 2020 affecting men, compared with 48% affecting women.

"However, the fact that women make up a smaller share of the workforce means that today's economic gender gap may widen even further than the current 40%," it said.

Ooredoo Group chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, who is also a member of the board of trustees of the Global Challenge initiative on Gender Parity, said: "We hope that by raising the profile of this issue, more organisations and governments will also work to tackle the barriers to gender inequality in the workplace. This report provides vital insight into the current status of women in the workforce, and the significant potential for development and improvement."

"At Ooredoo, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we continue to be passionate about fighting this issue and support a variety of initiatives, which work to drive change, tackle the gender gap, and empower women not only in the communities we serve across our global footprint, but also internally within our organisation," he added.

The report said "this blow to gender equality" can be explained by the fact that some of the roles most at risk from automation and disintermediation are those that are performed by a larger proportion of women for example, in the Office and Administrative job family.

"However, it is also partly a result of the fact that women are relatively under-represented when it comes to jobs that are expected to have the most growth in the next five years; for example, the Computer and Mathematical and Architecture and Engineering job families," it added.

Given women's low participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematical) professions -- one of the fastest-growing areas of job creation -- women stand to gain only one new STEM job for every 20 lost across other job families, whereas the ratio for men is one new job for every four lost elsewhere.

"This new data illustrates the urgency with which leaders across business and policy must find new ways to ensure that the full talent pool of men and women is educated, recruited and promoted," the report said.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Article Type:Report
Date:Feb 10, 2016
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