The Future of Work and Employment
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The Future of Work and Employment

Edited by Adrian Wilkinson and Michael Barry

This cutting-edge book charts the latest ideas and concepts in employment relations research. Mapping out the intellectual boundaries of the field, The Future of Work and Employment outlines the key research and policy outcomes for work and employment in the age of digitisation and artificial intelligence.
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Chapter 8: Future of Work (FoW) and gender

Sarah Kaine, Frances Flanagan and Katherine Ravenswood

Abstract

The Future of Work (FoW) has become a ubiquitous topic of commentary as scholars and policy makers grapple with the economic and social challenges to accepted practice and understanding of employment caused by technological advancement. However, gender has largely been overlooked in research about automation, AI and the development of the gig economy, which are most often the focus of debates concerning the FoW. This is in part the result of the failure of traditional employment relations research to engage with gender in a nuanced and meaningful way. This chapter begins to fill this gap by examining current understandings of gender discrimination, voice and prospects for gender equality in the electronically mediated ‘gig economy’. Specifically, we point to gaps in research that, combined, suggest an agenda for ongoing inquiry. Finally, we note the continuing need to challenge claims that digitally mediated work is ‘gender blind’ and highlight the ways in which the gig economy might perpetuate and entrench gender inequality.

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