The pandemic is hitting women and their jobs hardest. But the growth in digital technologies including VR and AR is surging and with it job opportunities.

It’s been a massive year for us all regardless of where you live or work. The word ‘uncertain’ springs to mind.

Last week Melbourne was released from lockdown after one of the world’s harshest and strictest lockdowns. It looks like the rest of Australia will open up to the state of Victoria by Christmas but then again who knows. Upcoming Christmas and New Year plans for many of us look uncertain. And right now counting has begun in the widely anticipated, volatile and yet still unknown US Presidential elections.

Like we said uncertain.

And then there is the jobs front. For so many it is the great unknown – especially for women.

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You’ve heard it on the news. The pandemic is hitting women and their jobs hardest. Economists have even dubbed the impact of COVID-19 as a ‘shecession’.

McKinsey & Co back this up reporting that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the pandemic than men’s jobs and women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses. 

Reason for the effect according to McKinsey? The virus is increasing the burden of unpaid care which women predominantly carry.

To add to the unfair landscape according to the World Economic Forum mothers are “more than twice as likely as fathers to worry that they’ll be judged more harshly at work because of their caregiving responsibilities.”

What about women in tech?

While there had been some advances pre-COVID19 in increasing representation of women in technology, research is shown that women in tech are likely to feel the devastating effects of COVID19 on employment and recruitment more than men. 

According to research from from TrustRadius in the US, women in tech are more likely to be laid off than their male colleagues and are 1.5 times more likely than male peers to be struggling managing childcare commitments.

And in Australia a report by the Rapid Research Information Forum found that gains by women in STEM are now at risk. Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering CEO Kylie Walker, who helped coordinate the report, said without urgent attention to address the issue gains for women in STEM will be lost.

Women are a minority in STEM professions. Based on disparities in the distribution of domestic workloads and reduced career opportunities compared to men, this pandemic is expected to disproportionately hinder women’s STEM careers.

But isn’t the world more virtual than every before? And what does that mean for women wanting to work in XR?

Short answer is yes.

The pandemic has led to a surge in the use of digital technologies including newer technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) due to social distancing and physical lockdowns.

Companies like Snobal working in XR for business have experienced a surge of interest and customer demand. And with that surge of customer demand comes opportunity. Including job opportunities.

On the homefront just yesterday Snobal posted two job openings for folk who love to work in a highly iterative, agile and collaborative way and have a passion and interest in developing a career in XR.

XR – too important to be left to men?

There are movements out there encouraging women’s involvement in XR. At an investment, founder, leadership and entry level.


Because not having womens participation in the development of transformative technologies such as VR and AR risks losing womens unique perspective, needs and requirements. It also means companies are at risk of building XR products and software that caters for only 50% of users i.e men.

We’ve written about this issue before. You can read it here.

So while the economic outlook and job market may look uncertain at this time for many industries, what we do know is for those interested in working in newer technologies such as VR and AR job opportunities and career pathways are evolving and that can only be a good thing.

In case you missed it

B2B buyers and sellers prefer digital reality
McKinsey & Co research on decision makers’ behavior globally across diverse industries since the pandemic began reveals there has been a big shift to digital. Sound like you? Read more.

No brillant jerks please
Speaking of all things job opportunities and career openings, we rather like this interview from Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify. We especially like his comment on how Spotify choose team members – “we needed someone who was team-first and not individual-first” . Read more.

Bill Gates’s 1993 vision for the future

This 1993 New Yorker article paints a prophetic picture especially in light of the current times. Makes you realise how quickly as humans we take things for granted. In this case email.
“In the future, people will send each other sound and pictures as well as text, and do it in real time, and improved technology will make it possible to have rich, human electronic exchanges, but at present E-mail is the closest thing we have to that.” ‘Read more.

Nov 5 2020

This post originally appeared on Snobal Midweek. Like Snobal Midweek? | Signup to receive your copy delivered direct to your inbox each week.