By Claudia Ávila Connelly, CEO of AMPIP
Industry 4.0 is advancing rapidly, making access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, and the building of innovation and technological ecosystems vital to guaranteeing a highly effective, competitive workforce.
All over the world, companies are seeking to hire employees with STEM capacities, but while Industry 4.0 is, by its very nature, based on talent, creativity and information, as opposed to capital and physical strength, a UNESCO report reveals that just 35% of higher-education students studying STEM careers worldwide are women.
I firmly believe the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to revert the gender stereotypes spawned by the industrial revolutions of the past, because it redirects the focus to human talent, married with resourcefulness, creativity and emotional intelligence—inherently female qualities that can help companies define and adjust their workforce strategies and foster the skillsets required for the digitalized future that lies ahead.
Over and beyond the need to rectify gender inequalities—socially and morally reprehensible as these are—, incorporating more women into STEM workforces is a critical economic challenge. According to a study published by the McKinsey Global Institute, we could swell global GDP by $28 billion USD by 2025 if women were able to participate in the economy on an equal footing with men—a figure equivalent to the size of the economies of China and the United States combined!
Given the exponential nature of this revolution that has blurred the boundaries of roles, functions and industries, training human talent, regardless of gender, is crucial if we are to make the transition to an economy where the way we relate with machines, not with the opposite gender, defines our work and the success of our business.
For the first time in history, women have access to long-term opportunities and the chance to participate in the building of a stronger, more dynamic, more inclusive, more equitable economy that augurs a brighter future for humankind.
This is why I am so excited about ITMujeres, a day of conferences devoted to women at Industrial Transformation MEXICO, the first edition of Hannover Messe in Latin America programmed for October 9-11 at Poliforum León, Guanajuato. Here, leading female figures representing Industry 4.0 will be sharing their success stories and describing how innovation, technology and a spirit of entrepreneurship have become drivers of gender quality and the empowerment of women, while promoting access to education and inspiring social and economic change with the adoption of STEM capacities.
Register free of charge prior to October 8 at http://industrialtransformation.mx/