learning, digital experience

Rethinking Automation as an Opportunity for Women in Tech 

by Candice Arnold, CMO of Eggplant 

learning, digital experienceIn today’s digital world, location is no longer relevant when it comes to working so long as employees stay ahead of their task delivery.

I’ve made it a habit to remind my team that I do not mind where they choose to get their work done - whether sitting on a sofa or on a beach - as long as they stay ahead and manage to get their to-dos completed.

As a CMO, the always-on, always-available mindset has shaped my marchitecture landscape, choosing applications that make remote work easy, visible and promote collaboration. This has meant that despite our distance, we continue to collaborate with newly found vigour using technology to the fullest.

Surprisingly, working from home due to the pandemic has had unexpected benefits, such as saving me a three-hour commute each day and allowing me to use this extra time to take on more creative tasks - which typically require the time and space to think, research and brainstorm with others. And of course, like many parents around the globe right now, I am taking on the added responsibilities of other jobs too, including teacher, chef, fitness coach and clown to my rambunctious bunch.

Sadly, not all industries have the option of working from home, which is costing women in particular their jobs.

Transitioning Occupations to Overcome Automation 

Due to the current pandemic, about 60% of jobs lost in April belonged to women, which feels like reversal of progress. Women faced greater losses than men in nearly all sectors that faced redundancies. I have been reminded of the need for women to retool with the start of my teenage daughter’s A-Level politics course. She has selected New Age Feminism as her first Ideology and it has reacquainted me with some of the harrowing statistics women find themselves hostage to.

Technological innovations are removing jobs women are inclined to take, especially in industries that are ripe for automation such as healthcare, hospitality and many other clerical functions. Sadly, over 100 million women could find their jobs displaced by automation unless they look to other industries. As more industries digitally transform, the future of the workplace is changing, with a heightened reliance on technology to handle work processes.

A report released last year by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) titled, The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation set out eloquently the importance for women to retool in an automation age. The prospect of technological unemployment is getting ever closer with daily innovations threatening jobs. The ways in which women work in their current jobs are also likely to change as organisations increasingly adopt new technologies.

In order to obtain new opportunities or keep their current roles, female workers will need to re-skill to meet the demand for jobs that offer a higher salary or enter ones that will be relevant in the future.

Using Automation as an Advantage

According to LinkedIn, only 22 percent of people working in AI globally are women. To change this, education needs to be geared towards encouraging skills for the future and bringing awareness of careers in technology and automation. As a woman in the automation industry, it’s important to see automation as a productivity motivator that is driving new opportunities - both financially and personally - by creating new jobs or the ability to work less hours.

Looking ahead, we need a critical number of women in positions of power and need to nurture the feminine energy in men. Rolling up our sleeves and making this world good is no longer a choice.


Automation versus humans – why we should work side-by-side

Diana Rowatt, client services director at marketing automation platform Force24

artificial intelligenceThe evolution of martech means workforces are equipped with vast capabilities that can transform their company’s efficiency – and bottom line.

But, despite the popularity of such innovation, some sectors are still questioning exactly how smart machines can effectively fit it into their staffing – and what role they will take on. There has been the additional fear for some industries that advanced technology means replacing employees, but for these systems to work, humans must be involved.

Yes, automation provides enterprises with incredible qualities – from enhanced efficiency to saving humans time and commercial resources – and often proves to be a commercially-savvy investment, when utilised correctly.

However, people will always be at the heart of an organisation’s success, no matter the level of tech it can boast. After all, employees are the ones building the machines to make everyone’s lives easier – and it’s their creativity and innovation that enables this modernisation of their offering.

Understanding where automation and employees complement one another

It’s important to address how smart tools can fit into enterprises, and what role humans play in their success.

Ultimately, marketing automation can be a powerful force when it comes to gathering learnings. Revolutionary machines are able to glean critical information in seconds – that could take workers weeks to dissect – and present the information back at an equally rapid rate.

They’re capable of forecasting business landscapes, and understand ever-evolving online behaviours. They can also deliver crucial detail for marketing and sales departments, to help build relationships and convert leads.

But it’s the employee who applies this data and therefore determines how to harness the insight effectively. With intuitive information, savvy employees can learn how their customers prefer to be communicated with, and they can then tailor engaging online comms that fall in line with a prospect’s interests. Alongside all this comes brand loyalty and an all-important competitive edge.

Empowering employees to use insight and drive business growth

Martech is impressive because it delivers the commercial detail that can determine how a business reacts and performs, but there’s no question how important the human touch is. If an enterprise can utilise the data in a way which positively impacts a company’s bottom line, it can become vital for an enterprise’s long-term strategy.

With a great team, equipped with the training to understand how best to manage marketing automation, organisations put themselves in the best possible position to not only understand what their customers need, but how their interests evolve.

It’s crucial for companies to not only consider how machines can revolutionise their online comms and business strategy, but also to build the best team to deliver that killer content and understanding. This combination will deliver the goods and develop long-standing online relationships.

Diana RowattAbout the author

Diana Rowatt is a Client Services Director at Force24 – and provides advice and support to clients, marketing automation demos, and making sure targets are hit each month. She’s been part of Force24 since the very beginning and so has seen how it’s grown, and adapted – as well as provided – technological options to business to help them reach customers easier.


McKinsey Global Institute featured

The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation | McKinsey Global Institute

MCKINSEY

Technological change, notably the adoption of automation technologies, is beginning to transform the way many of us work.

Observers of this unfolding phenomenon have long asked how automation may affect the working lives of men and women differently, and new research from the McKinsey Global Institute attempts to answer that question.

The report is part of the McKinsey Global Institute’s research program on the future of work, and it focuses on how the growing adoption and diffusion of automation and artificial intelligence technologies is likely to affect women in the workforce.

This research was prepared for the Women Deliver 2019 conference as part of our knowledge partnership with Women Deliver.

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