Of all consumer services, it may be surprising that the funeral sector is seeing perhaps the most fundamental disruption.
And not a moment too soon. High prices have blighted the industry in the UK – rising at three times the inflation rate according to The Guardian. You don’t have to look far to find stories from consumers who’ve felt exploited when they’re at their most vulnerable. For example, they may’ve been forced to pay for package ‘deals’ they didn’t really want. Ultimately, this isn’t an industry where it’s OK to get a service you feel is impersonal or industrialised.
Changing technologies and social norms
Emerging businesses are challenging accepted ideas of what a funeral should be like and what should be offered to consumers.
More people are turning to alternatives which ensure they can take control of death and post-death to some degree. Death doulas and soul midwives, who work to support the dying and their families, are growing in popularity. Eco-burials offer wicker or paper caskets that are cheaper and better for the environment.
Increasingly, when it comes to funeral planning, we can break from tradition if we want to. And we can avoid extortionate costs.
With the funeral sector undergoing significant change, its employment opportunities are broadening. People from all walks of life are increasingly finding the area a good fit for their career.
In the US, as in the UK, the funeral industry has been charged with criticisms of being exploitative and industrialised. But things are changing there too. Over 43% US funeral homes are now run by women according to VOA. This is up from just 5% four decades ago.
It’s interesting to view this diversification of the workforce alongside the disruption in the sector. At VERCIDA, our job listings put businesses that promote equality across race, gender, age, sexuality and disability front and centre. So, you can see, as you browse, which companies are embracing the change.
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