Automation has become an increasingly disruptive force in the labor market.
Reports of robots taking over jobs through self-driving cars and automated financial advisers stoke employee fears that their jobs will soon disappear.
It’s a worry that Cathy Engelbert, the CEO at Deloitte, even hears from her 15-year-old son. “Mom, are robots going to take my job someday?” Engelbert, writing in a post on LinkedIn, recalled being asked by her son.
“I told him: ‘Don’t worry – I’ve never met a machine with courage and empathy,'” she continued.
Engelbert’s response is most likely heartening to the hundreds of thousands of Deloitte employees worldwide. Accounting and auditing work – Deloitte’s bread and butter – are among the jobs that have been flagged as highly susceptible to automation.
And elsewhere, respected figures in the business community, like billionaire investor Mark Cuban, warn that jobs in the engineering, programming, and finance fields are highly at risk.
But to this, Engelbert urges employees to realize that not all is lost.
“Tasks that are highly manual, routine, and predictable will be automated,” she wrote. “But jobs are made up of many tasks. So the nature of existing jobs will change, and new careers will be created.”