by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – THE fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) has emerged as an opportunity to bridge the gender gap.
This revolution is anticipated to have an impact on the gender gap and accelerate the pace of technological change, potentially having a more significant effect on the roles women currently play in the economy, politics and society.
“There is definitely a place for women in Industry 4.0, as well as many other professions that have previously been viewed as ‘male-dominated’ professions,” explains Zanelle Dalglish, Schneider Electric Head of Sustainable Development for Anglophone Africa.
According to a report issued by PwC’s Economics, women currently hold 19 percent of tech-related jobs at the top ten global tech companies, relative to men who hold 81 percent.
In leadership positions at these global tech giants, women make up 28 percent, with men representing 72 percent.
In South Africa, according to the World Economic Forum, women are under-represented in maths and statistics (4:5), ICT and technology (2:5), as well as engineering, manufacturing and construction (3:10).
Overall, the lack of female representation in the workforce and especially in leadership positions is seen as a barrier to gender equality, and economists predict that by closing the gender gap in both representation and pay gap by just 10 percent, South Africa could achieve higher economic growth.
Schneider Electric South Africa has pledged to promote equality at the company and throughout the country.
It runs the Schneider Academy for South Africa, a learning organisation in the field of energy and automation.
“I would encourage young women as well as young men who aspire to positions of leadership not only to focus on their gender but rather focus on becoming masters and thought leaders within their respective domains,” Dalglish said.
– CAJ News