GMIS discusses opportunities, challenges facing women in the 4IR

YEKATERINBURG, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, and the digitalisation of operational practices is making a profound impact on the manufacturing industry, but is also affecting the inclusion of women in the digital economy and the new technological environment.

This was concluded by a female-driven panel of thought leaders from global organisations, which discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the female workforce at a panel session during the second edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, GMIS, in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

Fatou Haidara, Managing Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, Policy and Programme Support, believed that in order to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, women’s participation is vital, considering that they comprise half the world’s population. Haidara shared figures suggesting that if the gender gap is closed, it can boost world GDP by US$10 to 17 trillion. It must be done at both a micro and macro level, she suggested.

The panel included Haidara; Gulnaz Kadyrova, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Russian Federation; Salma Nims, Secretary-General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women; Veronika Peshkova, Goodwill Ambassador of the UNIDO; and Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata Manufacturing, and the only male on the panel, and was moderated by Selma Prodanovic, Founder and CEO of 1 Million Start-Ups.

Ali Abdulla said, “We are proud that females represent the majority of our workforce, as they are leading in one of the most exciting and dynamic industries in the world. Strata has become a true UAE success story, since its establishment in 2010. The company remains the only company in the Gulf that manufactures aircraft components for the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, such as Airbus and Boeing.”

The panel discussion concluded with a call for comprehensive collaboration, and stressed that greater female participation and bridging the gender divide must come from the cohesiveness of the private and public sectors, as well as governments.

A joint initiative of the UAE and the UNIDO, the GMIS is the world’s first cross-industry and cross-functional platform that unites manufacturers, governments and non-governmental organisations, technologists, and investors to build a roadmap towards investing in capabilities, fostering innovation and developing the skills needed to position the manufacturing sector at the forefront of global economic growth and a key driver to advance the 17 SDGs.

Source: Emirates News Agency