AFA Women’s Leadership Summit: Women in the Age of Automation

Fourth AFA Women’s Leadership Summit, 15th December 2020

„Between 40 and 160 million women in the world will lose their jobs if they do not make the necessary transition by acquiring additional, primarily technological, knowledge and skills”

The fourth AFA Women’s Leadership Summit is taking place on 15th December 2020 in a unique interactive virtual environment. With the help of 3D technology, this year’s AFA Summit will provide visitors with the opportunity to listen to great speakers from all over the world from the comfort of their homes, explore virtual stands, walk around the Summit’s virtual premises and visit the virtual conference hall.

In addition, there will be a possibility of listening to speeches and panel discussions held earlier in the day, which will allow listeners to watch the love of the AFA Summit that interests them at a time that suits them. By organizing this year’s Summit in the virtual environment, AFA organization follows the state’s health recommendations against spreading of Covid-19 but also showcases its mission of development through innovations and technology as key drivers of economic growth and social development.

The central topic of this year’s AFA Summit is “Women in the Age of Automation” with a special emphasis on skills and knowledge that women will need to adopt by 2030 in order to become mobile, tech-savvy and digitally educated, and remain competitive in the digital economy. Unfortunately, over 50% of women in Serbia will not be able to attend the Summit because they are not digitally literate (source: Eurostat 2019). The latest research by the McKinsey Global Institute warns that between 40 and 160 million women in the world will lose their jobs if they do not make the necessary transition by acquiring additional, primarily technological, knowledge and skills. Without such transition, we will only continue to witness a gender gap in income which may even increase.

“The goal of this year’s AFA Women’s Leadership Summit is to raise awareness of how fast-growing technologies are taking advantage of women’s position in the job market and how women will be far more affected by automation than men, both in business and in everyday life, if they do not acquire digital and technological skills”, said the program director of the Summit, Žaklina Nikolić Kušić, and added that new technologies open up numerous opportunities for those who catch up with growing needs on the labor market and equip themselves with new knowledge and skills. However, those who do not do that will be left behind, and women are in a worse position in that sense, as they are traditionally less interested in technology and have less time to improve professionally because of the work they traditionally perform at home, including childcare. The situation with the Covid-19 pandemic means only an additional acceleration of digitalization and automation of all processes – both professional and private, and it has become a matter of great importance for an individual as such, and for economy and society as a whole.“

The Summit will host numerous eminent guests – both local and international, but a guest who certainly distinguishes themselves from others is robot Petra. She comes from Sweden and is the world’s first health-screening robot. This robot opens up a vast space of opportunities for better access to healthcare across the world and for shortening of health screening procedures, but it also poses risks on humans employed in health, especially women, as there is more women than men in this sector. We will hear more about this and similar topics on December 15, 2020.

The Women’s Leadership Summit is AFA’s regional flagship event established in 2017 with the idea of ​​connecting leaders from different fields, raising awareness and working on solving important and urgent topics, jointly contributing to finding innovative solutions for economic development and society in which women will be equally involved. This year as well the last year, the Women’s Leadership Summit is held under the auspices of USAID within the broader WeFounders project, which AFA is implementing in cooperation with Impact Hub Belgrade.

AFA is a cross-sector, cross-generation and gender diversified community dedicated to economic empowerment of women and their active participation in creating future of equal opportunities, with a special focus on technology and innovation as key drivers of economic growth and social development. The most important AFA projects deal with digital literacy of women and promotion of STEM occupations among girls so that women are equally represented in occupations of the future and in the creation of digital civilization. AFA collaborates with companies, organizations, investors, institutions and the government to enable the change it advocates because the economy and society have better results when all actors in society are equally represented in all processes.

This text was made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The AFA is responsible for the content of the text and the text does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government.

AFA for All – Public Relations: Vanja Kovačev, General Manager, Nord Communications, 00381638455973 mail:

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