Don't bank on AI to correct pay inequality in the workplace, as a new study found that low wage workers are far more likely to be replaced by the technology in the workforce.
AI platforms like ChatGPT have made quite a stir in the business world. The productivity-improving tech has turned tech on its head, leading to layoffs and pivots across the industry.
While AI is poised to bolster revenue for business owners, employees are understandably worried about job security, and low wage workers are apparently at risk more than others.
McKinsey: AI More Likely to Replace Women/Minorities
A new study from McKinsey & Co, titled Generative AI and the future of work in America, reports that low wage workers are 14 times more likely to be forced to change occupations due to the development of AI platforms like ChatGPT.
Even worse, these won't be lateral moves. Given that lower-wage jobs will likely be automated out of existence, these employees will need to be reskilled in a major way, requiring substantial investment from organizations and businesses to address the labor needs of the new world.
“Employers will need to hire for skills and competencies rather than credentials, recruit from overlooked populations, and deliver training that keeps pace with their evolving needs.”
Considering the data shows that 12 million job transfers will be necessary by 2030, it's safe to say this could have a drastic impact on the economy.
The Bias of AI
The report also found that this dramatic shift in the economy isn't going to be kind to women and minority employees. In fact, the study found that women are 1.5 times more likely to be replaced by AI, as they are “heavily represented in office support and customer service.”
With these industries projected to hemorrhage around 3.7 million and 2 million jobs respectively, it's obvious that women will take a serious hit in the workforce.
On top of that, Black and Hispanic laborers will be disproportionately impacted by AI development and rollout over time as well, largely due to its effect on “customer service, food service, and production work.”
Subsequently, generative AI platforms appear poised to substantially increase the general inequality across the business world.
How to Prepare for the Future
If you're a business owner that wants to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem, the study did outline a few strategies you can employ to keep lower-wage workers, women, and minorities from being left behind.
“With the pace of change unlikely to let up, the challenge will be helping workers match up with the jobs of the future. While some of this may require large-scale collaboration, individual companies can fill many of the gaps by adapting their own approaches to hiring and training.”
The best piece of advice in the report is to hire with a broader lens for your open roles. Your best employee won't have necessarily gone to the best college, or even attended university at all. The key will be finding potential candidates based on their “capacity to learn, intrinsic capabilities, and transferable skills” to set your team up for success in the long run.