Skip to main content
Mar 08 2019

Reimagining Gender Equality in the Era of Industry 4.0

Today we celebrate the 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD), an important occasion for all members of our Nokia family and our industry. 

This is a day in which we commemorate women’s historic contributions as mothers, as employees, as community leaders, and as shapers of the digital economy.

It is a day to reflect, to speak up, to take action.

My deepest reflection for this year’s IWD is rooted in three factors:

First, our ambition at Nokia to achieve a workforce that reflects the world we live in, where women and men are represented equally in all functions and at all levels. We are ambitious, and we are committed, but progress is moving at a slow pace. 

In parallel, we are undergoing a rather fast-paced materialization of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technological change is rampant and deeply changing how we live, how we work, how we interact. 

Lastly, this year’s theme for the United Nation’s IWD 2019 is “Think Equal. Build Smart. Innovate for Change.”

When I took note of all these factors, I immediately related to the idea of innovation driving change on the topic of gender equality. Time is of essence and innovation is on our DNA.  

Here is what I propose:

With our ambition to diversify Nokia into Enterprise and Industrial Automation, allow me to introduce the idea for us to “Reimagine Gender Equality in the era of Industry 4.0”.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution comes to realization, a massive economic opportunity will be created for consumers, entrepreneurs, businesses and governments.

5G networks, cloud technologies, artificial intelligence, and many other emerging technologies, will bring productivity gains of historic scale, new services and lower costs for all participants in the digital economy.

For the future of our workforce, this change offers a rather large opportunity to reassess skill-sets.

Let’s embrace and equip ourselves with future-proof skills.

We must equip ourselves with future-proof capabilities to participate in a workforce that is intrinsically digital and where humans interact with machines to get the job done. 

Personally, I am a firm believer that Industry 4.0 will require a higher degree of cognitive skills – creativity, social intelligence, emotional intelligence. Historically, these have been considered “soft skills”, in which women are known to perform exceedingly well. 

For the first time in history, we might be facing a new era in which women will be able to leverage their inherent strengths to help companies define and adjust their workforce strategies and nurture the skills for the future that digitalization will require. 

Let’s remain committed.

Even though many of you might share these thoughts, it is clear that we can’t rely on the digital era to be the only big thing that will help us to reflect a more balanced workforce.

My ask to all of us today in our fast-paced industry is that we remain committed to:

  • Increase the female workforce to represent the world around us
  • Narrow and close the gender pay gap
  • Address conscious and unconscious bias of women in the workplace
  • Nurture a work climate of inclusion and gender equality 

Let’s work together to Reimagine Gender Equality in the era of Industry 4.0.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokiaindustries, @nokia and @nokianetworks using #IWD2019 #InternationalWomensDay #futureskills #industry40

About Kathrin Buvac

As the President of Nokia Enterprise, Kathrin leads the team that provides enterprise networks, industrial automation and digitalization solutions to customers in the energy, transportation, logistics, advanced manufacturing and public sector in their journey towards Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She has been named “Women to Watch 2016” by FierceWireless and one of the “50 women to watch in 2016” by Global Telecoms Business.

Tweet me at @KathrinBuvac