Digital fluency: closing the gender work gap

by NZ Adviser22 Mar 2017
While men currently have an employment advantage, it is a gap that’s closing.

This is due in large part to a significant uptick in outcomes for women driven by digital fluency, according to a recent report from Accenture.

Indeed, nations with higher rates of female digital fluency were also those with higher overall rates of gender equality.

A digitally fluent person can decide when to use specific digital technologies to achieve their desired outcome; they can also articulate why the tools they are using will provide their desired outcome.

Of no small consideration is the fact that the work flexibility afforded by newer forms of technology seems to have an outsized effect on women: almost six out of 10 women who were not currently engaged in formal employment said that working from home part or all of the time would help them find work.

A similar proportion reported that having more flexible hours would assist them in their search for employment.

Hearteningly, most respondents to the study – 76% of male respondents and 79% of female respondents – agree that women have more opportunity afforded to them now than in times past.

71% of respondents agree that “the digital world will empower our daughters”
In 16 countries women have attained higher levels of education than men (of the 31 studied)
72% of respondents say women’s employment opportunities increase as their digital fluency climbs
61% of women in developing countries would like to start a new business in the next five years

Smallest gaps

The countries with the smallest gap in digital fluency tend to be developed nations, with three of the top four located in Europe. Of note is the fact that in three out of five cases, women’s digital fluency outstrips that of men.
  Women Men
UK 53 54
Ireland 47 47
Korea, Rep. 49 48
Spain 52 50
Argentina 35 32

Largest gaps

The two countries with the largest gap between the digital fluency of the genders are both located in Asia; of the remaining three countries, all three are located in mainland Europe.
  Women Men
Japan 44 58
Singapore 42 53
France 46 52
Switzerland 48 54
Netherlands 63 68

Source: #GettingtoEqual: How digital is helping close the gender gap at work, Accenture, 2016

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