The Industry 4.0 transition depends on male-dominated fields like computer science and engineering, potentially causing a disproportionate effect on women seeking to enter the field.
However, the industry-wide shift to more automation, big data and robotics may ultimately expand opportunities for women who lacked access to more traditional manufacturing roles, according to industry executives and observers.
The World Economic Forum’s 2016 report on women and work in the fourth industrial revolution predicted that as Industry 4.0 gains momentum, men will gain one new job in an advanced field for every four jobs lost in the manufacturing, production, construction and extraction industries. While a gender disparity exists in the manufacturing industry, it’s even more significant in fields like artificial intelligence, automation and I.T. As a result, the report predicted women will gain only one new job per 20 jobs lost.