Women and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Women and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Technologies of Asia-Pacific Region Economies 

The seminar ‘Women and Technology in the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Asia-Pacific Region Economies’ was held on the starting day of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. The meeting participants discussed what challenges and risks Industry 4.0 poses to modern society and how it has influenced the choice of new generation professions. Special attention was paid to the APEC women’s agenda for 2019-2020. 

The discussion was moderated by were President of the Women’s View Public Diplomacy Foundation and Member of the Expert Council of the OPORA RUSSIA Committee on the Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship Veronika Peshkova and Deputy General Director of the Ericsson Training Centre Irina Saltykova. They noted that the APEC agenda devotes significant attention to the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on women’s involvement in economic development. The leaders of Asia-Pacific region countries are in favour of introducing and developing programmes that aim to strengthen the economic role of women and further expanding their access to sources of finance, assets, and markets.

With a welcoming speech, the mayor of the Japanese city of Yokohama Fumiko Hayashi and the deputy director of the Department of Asia, Africa and Latin America of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation addressed the participants of the discussion.

Mayor of Yokohama Fumiko Hayashi and Deputy Director of the Department for Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the Russian Ministry of Economic Development Natalia Strigunova gave welcoming addresses to the discussion participants.

Director of the Asia Pacific Women's Information Network Center in the Republic of Korea Myonghee Kim said that the industrial revolution will create new technologies that will help women to develop their business projects faster and obtain useful knowledge, skills, and access to information. However, the speaker noted that there are two opposing views in society today about whether Industry 4.0 could have a positive or negative effect on gender equality.

Myonghee Kim herself believes that the fourth industrial revolution does not pose a threat, but offers new opportunities for women.

Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Women and Technology (APCWT) Patrice Brown from the Netherlands spoke in her presentation about such aspects as the go green initiative. She stressed that the environment affects all spheres of society and spoke about the SmartGreen programme, which will enable entrepreneurs to make their businesses more eco-friendly and economical using technologies and innovations.

President of the Russia Center New York Elena Branson spoke about the experience of supporting women’s leadership and entrepreneurship in the U.S. She noted that women make up 70% of Russians living in the United States and that many of them head Russian schools, various centres, and communities.

Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Nadezhda Tikhonova shared her city's experience with developing a digital economy. She stressed that the region pays special attention to supporting female scientists.

One of the highlights of the seminar was discussion of one of Russia’s best initiatives in APEC – a competition involving women’s business projects called the APEC BEST AWARD, which has been held for three years in a row. The discussion participants included winners of the contest from Russia – Co-founder of the OPORA Russia Committee on Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Evgenia Lazareva, creator of the Matryoshka brand Natalia Larchenko, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wellpharm Lyudmila Scherbakova. They stressed that the competition provides entrepreneurs with great opportunities to further develop their business projects.

The second part of the meeting was held in an interactive format. The participants split into groups and came up with proposals on how to develop a healthy society and women's entrepreneurship in a network society and also spoke about the role of women’s leadership in the development of regions. 

Anna Repina, Eurasian Women's Community Information Agency