Equality Goes Missing In The Digital Industry

In many organisations in many different locations women have not always been welcome. The catalyst for change was  World War II, when women took work in factories to replace conscripted male workers.   Since then, women have been fighting for true equality in the workplace. Today, more women than ever are turning to business and the global number of female entrepreneurs increasing by 10% each year.  

The Covid-19 lockdown has caused many more people to work online, however,  around the world women don’t have much Internet access .The so-called digital gender gap is most noticeable in Africa, where the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that 37% of men have Internet access but only 20% of women. 

In the era of social distancing, connecting with people who are lacking the tech or the experience is difficult. Video calls are not possible for students without a computer or high-end smartphone, or for whom the cost of data is an issue. Lack of digital skills may deprive women of healthcare, education, work, and financial independence and the Coronavirus has had the effect of  making life even harder for some women.

According to the World Bank women remain less likely than men to own a smartphone although they are increasingly likely to be able to use one to access the Internet. Typically in her east Indian state of Bihar, if there is only one handset per household, men tend to get priority. 

In the West women can be found taking senior positions in tech firms, but there isn’t gender parity in terms of numbers or profile. 

Research by developer recruitment platform CodinGame has revealed the remarkable extent of the disparity. Having analysed the 137 businesses identified by Deloitte’s 50 fastest growing tech startups 2020 and The Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100, CodinGame found that only seven had a female founder or co-founder (5.48%) and of the 251 founders or co-founders, only 11 were women (4%). 

Furthermore, Data collected by the European Commission’s Women in Digital Scoreboard shows that women are less likely than men to have specialist digital skills and work in the digital technology field. Women have spearheaded innovation essential to the advance of digital technology, from computer algorithms to programming. Yet, they are still less likely to have specialist digital skills and work in this field compared to men. Only when looking at the basic digital skills, the gender gap has narrowed, from 10.5% in 2015 to 7.7% in 2019.

IT Pro:         BBC:        Entrepreneur:     The Financial Brand:   EU Reporter:       EU Commission:

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