1st Edition

Patterns of Inclusion How Gender Matters for Automation, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

By Elisabeth Kelan Copyright 2025
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    It is widely presumed that digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) shape the future of work. Yet gender is rarely considered in those debates. This path-breaking book, written by a leading thinker on gender, inclusion and organisations, Elisabeth Kelan, is based on in-depth research to show which patterns of gender and digitalisation emerge. By weaving together these different patterns, is it possible to understand the dynamic and complex ways in which gender and digitalisation in the work context are intertwined?

    The book highlights how futures of work are imagined between automation and augmentation. It shows which tasks are expected to be done by machines and where humans are expected to have a competitive advantage over machines. The book showcases how algorithmic bias is constructed as ultimately fixable and it analyses in/visibilities in AI production processes. Above all, the book shows how patterns relating to gender and inclusion are shaped and could be re-shaped.

    This innovative book provides a stimulating and provocative read for those who are interested in how automation and AI shape the future of work in regard to gender and what this means for inclusion.

    1. Introduction: Human-Like


    2. Imaging Futures between Automation and Augmentation


    3. Uniquely Human and the Automatability of Socio-Emotional Skills


    4. Algorithmic Bias as Ultimately Fixable


    5. In/Visibility by Design


    6. Conclusion: Unwritten Rules


    Elisabeth Kelan is Professor of Leadership and Organisation, Essex Business School, University of Essex, United Kingdom. Elisabeth Kelan is an expert on gender and digitalisation, women’s leadership, men as change agents for gender equality, generations at work, and diversity and inclusion. 

    “A ground-breaking book that fills a critical gap by providing a much-needed thorough analysis through a gender lens of perspectives on the potential impacts of automation and AI on the future of work. It enables us to imagine more inclusive and equitable scenarios that better equip us to forge a fairer digital future for all.” 

    Ursula WynhovenDirector and Representative to the United Nations, International Telecommunication Union

    “An important work that provides unique, timely, and exceptional insights into the digitalisation of gender. Through rigorous research, Elisabeth Kelan illuminates the gendered values, decisions, and biases that shape digitalisation, automation, and artificial intelligence systems, and why they must be grounded in equity and inclusion.” 

    Melissa Suzanne FisherNew York University Institute for Public Knowledge and School of Professional Studies