Women in Business Is the Tip of the Iceberg for Work in the Future

In many rich countries, the dominant model is now a two-tier family income, with both parents working full-time.
For the first time in American history, the balance of the workforce tipped towards equality in 2009. Women now occupy half of the nation’s jobs.
In fact, the UK and several other nations reached the same tipping point a year later, by 2010.
  • Worldwide, women dominate colleges and professional schools on every continent with the exception of Africa.
  • In the US, for every two men who received a BA degree in 2010, three women did likewise.
  • Of the 15 job categories projected to grow over the next decade, 12 are primarily occupied by women.
In the last decade, a quarter of women in the UK are now the main breadwinners in the family unit. This figure was just 4% in 1969.
This article will discuss the future of work.

The future

Gender aside, in the future we will see a more flexible economy, with collaborative-freelance workers outnumbering permanent employees.
A secure job will be a thing of the past.
Economies will be guided by new values, a generational shift, with more women increasingly at the top table.

A new framework

Management expert, Gary Hamel, said: “in The Future of Management, I introduced a simple framework — my version of Maslow’s hierarchy except that in this case, it’s not a hierarchy of human needs, but of human capabilities at work.”
Hamel highlighted human capabilities like:
  1. Passion
  2. Creativity
  3. Initiative
  4. Intellect or personal competence
  5. Diligence
  6. Obedience
In reverse order, the capabilities that Hamel refers to are:
  • At the bottom of the rung, there's obedience — employees who show up each day and follow all the rules and procedures.
  • Above that is diligence — employees who work hard, who stay until the job is done, and take personal responsibility for delivering great results. Again, this is critical. You can’t build a winning organization with slackers.
  • After diligence comes intellect, personal competence — every business wants employees with world-class skills, well trained, and eager to learn.
  • Beyond that is initiative — employees who spring into action whenever they see a problem or opportunity. They don’t need to be instructed, bound by a job description. No. They're instinctively proactive.
  • At the next level lies creativity — employees eager to challenge conventional wisdom; hunters of innovative ideas, from random sources.
  • At the pinnacle is passion — employees who see work as a calling, to have an impact on the world. They’re totally engaged. They have a purpose.
A job for life will not exist by 2050.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The future of work

By 2050 work and employment will look like this:
  • Everything will be gig or project work
  • Hierarchies will be decimated
  • Career ladders will be dismantled
  • The value of work will be redefined
“We still think in terms of planning and ordering change — there is little time for that.” — Gary Hamel
Management with detailed planning, control, and compliance with policies will be obsolete.
Future pop-up leaders and managers will seek:
  • Bold experimentation
  • Seek and reward failure
  • Reward excellent failures
Innovation will be critical in the future to ensure that continuous improvement flourishes, at a time when discontinuous change is rampant.
Incremental innovation will no longer be good enough. Radical and revolutionary innovation will be in demand.

Final Thoughts

Workers in the future will learn something new every day, in their spare time. They’ll be those who exhibit:
  • Radical and profound artists of creation
  • Exercise their creative talent
  • Bold, brash and diverse
  • Be free-agents i.e. not cubicle slaves
  • Value life experience above reward and tenure
  • Innovative risk-takers
  • Independent, self-reliant and brimming with confidence
Their core competencies will include:
  • Personal reinvention through self-learning
  • Accept work as a series of gigs or projects
  • Follow a distinct or extinct ethos
  • Trust their Intuition through self-empowerment
  • Be happy and self-sufficient
Our children will break all the rules. Male and Female workers will be equally represented in all sectors and rewarded on merit and ability, not gender.
Wait — Will workers of the future break rules or simply remove the human-made bureaucratic preferences that previous generations created?