Getting to Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work
The ‘Getting To Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work’ report from Accenture examines the extent to which men and women have adopted and embraced digital technologies, and the influence that has had on their education, employment and advancement. The research combines survey and published data to create the Accenture Digital Fluency Model, a tool that analyses the effect of digital fluency on gender equality throughout the career life cycle.’
Getting on the right side of the digital fluency gap can change the picture for women — and their countries – in dramatic ways. At the current rate of digital adoption, developed nations likely won’t achieve workplace gender equality until 2065, and developing nations until 2100. But if governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become frequent users of technology, gender equality could be reached in the workplace by 2040 in developed nations and by 2060 in developing nations.
The report looked at gender equality in the workplace through three specific areas: how women use education in preparing for work; how they do at finding and keeping a job; and how they do in advancing in their careers. In measuring women’s progress in education and workplace participation, the report utilises data from the World Bank regarding education enrolment and labour participation rates. For advancement, the report utilises pay as well as OECD rates of women in managerial roles.
To identify and better understand the role of digital fluency in workforce gender equality, the report utilises Digital Fluency Model. The report includes a survey of nearly 5,000 women and men in 31 countries to gauging their use of digital technologies — the devices they have access to, from smartphones to wearables, and how and when they used them. Respondents were asked specifics about their education and career, such as if they had ever taken virtual coursework through an online university, how they used digital collaboration tools, instant messaging or webcams to help them at work, and whether their company was preparing to place more women in senior management roles than in years past.
- The survey finds that men’s digital fluency score is higher than women’s in more than three-quarters of the countries studied. Men use digital more frequently than women: 76 percent of men versus 72 percent of women. Millennial men use digital channels at the even higher rate of 80 percent, and millennial women at 75 percent. Men are more proactive than women in learning new digital skills: 52 percent of men versus 45 percent of women say they’re continuously learning new digital skills.
- The research shows that nations with higher rates of digital fluency among women have higher rates of gender equality in the workplace. The U.S., Netherlands, UK and Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) have the highest digital fluency scores in the sample and rank among the top performers on workplace equality.
- In Indonesia and India, low levels of digital fluency are hindering the progress of women. Increasing women’s access to the Internet as a first step to improving fluency should help open-up new work opportunities.
- Digital fluency has also had a more positive impact on the education of women in developing countries than in developed ones: more than two-thirds (68 percent) of women in developing countries, versus less than half (44 percent) of women in developed countries, say that the Internet was important to their education.
- Defining the gap
- Closing the gender gap at work
- Digital fluency is the accelerant
- Global talent shortage: women can change the game
- The digital fluency model: do you speak digital?
- Snapshot: US, Japan & India
- Key findings
- Higher digital fluency results in increased workplace gender equality
- Education: Women’s rates rising more rapidly
- Women’s Education
- Employment: Digital helps women gain flexibility
- Women’s employment
- Advancement: Opportunities are evolving
- Women as leaders
- Opportunities: More women entrepreneurs and more re-joining the workforce
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