In addition to unpacking structural and attitudinal causes of gender inequality, the digital age offers us important opportunities for womens empowerment. According to recent research, In the face of slowing growth, an ageing society, and rising education levels among younger women, the economic case for digital gender equality is strong.
The trends are also affected by the lack of gender parity, a continued lack of representation for women in digital fields. Women are leaving the labor force at higher rates than men, and the pace of change within the tech-skilled jobs is so rapid it is likely to leave them feeling less secure to return. The International Monetary Fund projects that 11% of jobs now held by women are in danger of being eliminated because of digital technologies — a higher proportion than jobs held by men.
We are at the heart of a digital transition creating myriad opportunities for women, and yet according to recent data from the US Department of Labor, women only account for 25.2% of people working in computing and math jobs. Access to digital skills is the crucial element that companies must have in order to be successful, but women are challenged when it comes to getting into digital careers due to the lack of gender parity, a problem that must urgently be addressed in order to narrow the tech skills gap.
Women are not equally accessible to networks as men, which can help them to build skills, make career advancements, and move to new jobs. Even if women stay in their current jobs, their way of working is likely to change as the workplace adopts more and more new technologies, and as certain components of activities in womens professions are automated, creating a partial automatization of their jobs. To fulfill the demands of these completely new types of jobs, women will need to possess appropriate skills — as well as the mobility and work networks to pursue these jobs.
While the white-collar jobs, or those primarily held by women, are beginning to vanish, women may learn about new skills and technologies that could pay just as well, if not better — and they may get trained again, as business demands shift. Increase access to job-based training so that more women employees are developing skills that could equip them to stay in the workforce and transition into new roles as more jobs are automated. Jobs involving telecommuting, online, flexible working could help young women overcome mobility constraints, challenge gender-specific restrictions, and decrease long-standing occupational segregation in traditionally male-dominated industries.
As the ECLAC notes, it requires the development, deployment, and intensive application of technological capabilities, as well as opening new employment opportunities to women. The digital economy has the potential to open new employment opportunities for young women, helping to tackle the continuing gender inequality in the labour market. This work is especially pertinent as we consider the challenges posed by the technology innovations taking place across industries and services today. The expanding digital economy could have an enormous impact on employment opportunities.
With a balanced workforce, women and men, equipped with essential skills for today, businesses can achieve great gains in the digital era of tomorrow. Companies are growing their businesses through digitization, and women who are experts at digitizing, or are digitally nimble, are going to clearly have a greater chance than women without specialized skills, simply because of the nature of numbers. We have to accelerate this development in the talent pool, and to support more women when they are using the at least 20.
Encouraging more women to enter the digital workforce is important, but we also need to make sure the environments that they are entering are conducive for their success. Still, much more needs to be done to ensure women are empowered not just to get jobs, but thrive in the careers that they have chosen.
More needs to be done to enable women in positions of power, where they can bring diverse perspectives and skills sets to the table to shape transformative projects. Women need really to have the courage, put forward their talents and skills, to be given positions of power. Women need mentors to advise them about proper work-life balance, and who can give positive examples about how women can build successful careers in STEM roles.
The best way to achieve digital gender equity is to hear womens experiences, and to use successful role models as the foundation of organizational learning and change. As an organization, UNDP is trying to identify what women are missing, so we can provide them with skills that will allow them to compete in the marketplace, and provide them with ideas and opportunities for equalization. Through online platforms like Salesforce Trailhead, we are better able to support women working from home who want to learn digital skills whenever they want.
The World Banks Gaza Emergency Cash for Work and Self-Employment Project, for instance, provides two months of training in digital skills and six months of on-the-job support for young women. For instance, the World Banks Kosovo Digital Economy (KODE) Project, aimed at expanding access to high-speed broadband to remote areas, has made sure one of the components of its project is specifically designed to support the education of youth, particularly women, in order to take advantage of the new opportunities available on the Internet. For instance, the project supporting the creation of jobs for rural women who are limited digitally skilled could focus on digital micro-job opportunities.
Practitioners will have to intentionally employ more targeted strategies in the program design in order to help the young women successfully transition into higher-quality digital jobs, as well as transition into higher-skilled, higher-paying digital jobs over time.
Practical supports, like skills grants, mentoring programs, and child care funding, are needed to enable more women — particularly those who are struggling — to access opportunities in a digital-first economy. At the same time, an emphasis on skills-building measures could equip rising female employees with the skills needed to become leaders in a new digital age. Accelerating technology adoption among businesses and consumers in the last year has caused skills in the digital realm to shift–and more women are positioning themselves to take on the new jobs that will be focused around those skills.