Industry 5.0: Women Leadership in the Era of Tech and AI

Industry 5.0: Women Leadership in the Era of Tech and AI

Mar 05 , 2024

Leslie Do

As the digital dawn lights up new horizons, the "Inclusive Industry 5.0: Why Women Matter" event, hosted by Asia Innovate Hub in collaboration with River Venture Studio and supported by luminaries like The Edify Project, IMDA, Schnell LiFi GmbH, and Huawei Singapore, has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all participants.

Heading into a New Industrial Era

The jump from the first three industrial revolutions took centuries, but the fourth, starting in 2011, sped things up with digital tech like the Internet of Things, smart computing, and AI with Big Data. These tools gave us new ways to work with technology.

Now, as Industry 4.0's digital world keeps expanding, we're moving towards Industry 5.0. This next step blends human creativity with smart machines, mixing automation's precision with our own thinking and decision-making skills. 

The upcoming 5th Industrial Revolution is set to change our lives and workplaces fundamentally. Navigating and excelling in this new phase will crucially depend on embracing gender diversity in leadership roles.

Why Industry 5.0 Needs More Female Leadership

McKinsey's 'Diversity Matters Even More' report highlights that leadership diversity is strongly linked with growth ambitions, greater social impact, and more satisfied workers. Companies with greater female representation in leadership, particularly when women constitute over 30% of the executive team, tend to be more profitable and competitive. This becomes crucial in the fifth industrial revolution, where adaptability and innovation are essential for success.

The business case for diversity on executive teams and financial outperformance.

Female leaders are not only proficient in technical and business skills but also excel in interpersonal abilities. They are often more adept at creative thinking, emotional intelligence, fostering empathetic connections, and forming inclusive teams.

Such skills are key to cultivating a forward-thinking organizational culture, vital for the upcoming era. IE Insights' research further supports this, showing that women in leadership and entrepreneurship positively impact the social goals and accomplishments of companies.

Empowering Women in Tech: A Glimpse into Industry 5.0 and Beyond

A compelling panel discussion unfolded under the banner "Inclusive Industry 5.0: Why Women Matter," casting a spotlight on the transformative era of Industry 5.0. This new phase in our industrial journey is not just about smart machines and automation; it's about fostering a synergy where robots assist humans to enhance our work, leveraging cutting-edge technologies like IoT and big data. It's about adding a human touch to our interactions with technology, ensuring that efficiency doesn't come at the expense of personal connection.

Historically, robots have taken on roles that are dangerous, tedious, or physically demanding. Today, as we transition into Industry 5.0, the aim is to blend cognitive computing capabilities with human intelligence, emphasizing collaboration over replacement. This evolution towards smarter, more connected machines opens the door to a future where technology supports and enhances human work, promoting a balance of sustainability, efficiency, and productivity.

However, a crucial conversation that emerged from the panel highlights a persistent gap in the tech landscape: the underrepresentation of women. Despite making up almost half of the global population, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions and face systemic biases. According to recent studies, women occupy only a fraction of tech roles, with less than 30% of the industry's global workforce being female. At leading tech firms like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, women's representation ranges from 29% to 45% overall, and 26% to 34% in leadership roles.

US tech stats


This disparity underscores the urgent need for change. The panel stressed the importance of not only encouraging women to engage with technology as end-users but also as pioneers and innovators shaping its future.

Addressing this gap, the Spark Incubator—a collaborative effort between IMDA PIXEL and Huawei Cloud—offers a gender-inclusive program designed to empower early-stage startups in emerging tech fields like Web 3.0, the Metaverse, AI-Generated Content, Enterprise SaaS, and Fintech. This 5-month journey offers startups expert guidance, technology development support, and invaluable connections to investors and partners, all while leveraging Huawei’s vast technological and commercial expertise.

In a further commitment to fostering gender diversity in tech, the South African High Commission in Singapore, in partnership with the South African Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the International Women's Federation in Commerce and Industry, South Africa (IWFCI-SA), will host an incoming trade mission. This initiative aims to explore the Huawei Spark Incubator model's potential adaptation to the South African tech environment, providing a valuable learning opportunity for South African startups and female entrepreneurs.

Networking, Learning, and Beyond

The cozy ambience, accentuated with coffee and tea, provided the perfect backdrop for attendees to connect, learn, and be inspired.

It was an environment ripe with exclusive networking opportunities, engaging discussions on entrepreneurship, innovation, and the undeniable impact of women in Industry 5.0. 

The stories of triumph and innovation shared at the event underscored a critical message: women are not just participating in the tech industry; they are leading it with vision.


As we reflect on the enlightening conversations and transformative insights shared, it's clear that "Inclusive Industry 5.0: Why Women Matter" was more than an event; it was a movement towards an inclusive, innovative future. 

This event was a beacon of progress, illuminating the importance of female participation in the tech realm. As we move forward, let's remember the essence of "Inclusive Industry 5.0: Why Women Matter" - to champion diversity, innovation, and the transformative power of women in technology.

Follow us on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and LinkedIn as we continue to make waves, drive change, and celebrate the indomitable spirit of women in tech and business. The journey towards an inclusive Industry 5.0 is just beginning, and together, we can achieve an unprecedented future.