Missing from the presidential debate last month was any discussion on how the adoption of artificial intelligence has altered our economy, specifically regarding employment

These employment shifts, which are similar to those during the early digital age, could adversely affect women in particular. However, unlike prior administrations, the Biden administration has bypassed collaboration with individual innovators and instead imposed regulation and executive fiat policies that disadvantage women, independent professionals, and workers.

After the 2008 recession destroyed the earning power of many, I started a group called Tuesdays with Transitioners. This was on the cusp of the online age, where smartphone technology, digital interfaces, and social media altered the job market, not unlike what AI is doing today.

TwT participants held down jobs in the analog world for five years or more but suddenly found themselves seeking work in an unfamiliar digital landscape. Part of the goal was to teach people how to move their skills and abilities from a 20th-century to a 21st-century environment. 

Technology has continued to change the face of work since then, and AI has even greater potential to further transform it. Most recently, it has reduced the demand for organizational maintenance professions: secretaries, document assistants, and executive assistants, to name a few. These professions are heavily female-centric and in the coming years may be reduced or obsolete.

Inc. magazine explained, “There’s more movement in the labor market than usual, according to a McKinsey report released earlier this year. From 2019 to 2022, the labor market experienced $8.6 million occupational shifts. That’s 50% more than in the prior three-year period, and the report projects that another $12 million shifts could come by 2030, thanks to increasing health care demand, digitization, and other factors.”

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report last year predicted that by 2027, there could be 26 million fewer jobs in bookkeeping, executive secretarial work, administration, and similar areas of work.

Data from Career Addict affirm that the number of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to decline by 10% over the next decade. A whopping 92.5% of the nearly 2 million workers in this occupation are women. 

Unfortunately, government policies could have a chilling effect on how companies could utilize AI to expand their labor force and entrepreneurism in general. This will hasten the demise of jobs dominated by women.

From the final Department of Labor independent contractor rule that went into effect in March to President Joe Biden’s October 2023 executive order on “safe, secure, and trustworthy artificial intelligence,” this administration’s focus is on top-down and labor union-mandated controls rather than freedom, innovation, and choice, factors women prioritize in their business dealings and employment.

Despite this, women can adopt a future-forward mentality and pivot their skills into new work opportunities and economic security. As I taught my career transitioners: Portability of skills, not replication of titles or roles, is key. Knowing the strength of one’s soft skills (i.e., the ability to communicate, effectively lead, and collaborate) and how to translate those into any new role is also key. 

Governments may try to regulate technology and restrict independent work, but what governments cannot do is bring the ability to personalize, personify, and pivot in business partnerships and enterprise. Only we have that power.