The female role in the digital economy sector: an overview
Cultural traditions and societal stereotypes have induced women to not feel a special vocation for the digital economy sector from a very early age.
As a result, despite the fact that technology careers represent a path with low unemployment, women do not tend to choose them.
Moreover, sadly, companies aren’t implicating themselves much to retain technologist women profiles. Besides, as women suffer high rates of employment discrimination within the technology sector, they often tend to be ignored or underestimated. When it comes to the salary, it’s a well-known fact that their salary is lower than males one for the same position in the company, on the average.
Another vital issue regarding conciliation levels is that technology companies do not promote these policies among their employees. That often pushes women to leave the digital economy sector or to find themselves in an underemployment situation: part-time or temporary contracts.
At around 50, thirty years later the completion of academic training, women are half as likely as men to continue working as engineers or computer scientists.
The fact that companies do not promote women to higher managing positions in technology prevents the creation of female references that can attract more young women to this professional sector.
Unfortunately, women continue to suffer social and labor discrimination in the world of technology, so if we want a fair future between men and women, it is essential to eliminate the labor and social gaps that women suffer in the technological field. What actions should we take to reach that and what main points should we consider?
Gender’s equal access to the digital economy
Equal access to the digital economy is not only a gender issue, but it is also a need that must be considered within the development agenda for the year 2030.
Women’s access to ICT empowers them, and equal access to technology and the Internet makes it easier for them to participate in increasingly digital societies and in the global community.
ICTs cover all spheres of life and the digital gender gap must be eradicated so that barriers to their access and use cease to persist.
In Spain, Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights, Article 81, includes the right of universal access to the Internet, where it is stated that “everyone has the right to access the Internet regardless of their personal, social, economic or geographical condition ”, as well as“ access to the Internet for men and women will seek to overcome the gender gap both in the personal and work areas ”, which is the first formal recognition in our legal system of digital gender’s gap existence. That is a big step, but of course, it’s just the beginning.
Intrinsic characteristics of women’s leadership
As we have seen, women face many obstacles on their way to high positions in the technological world. Therefore, we are going to name some skills that can differentiate a woman and can lead her towards the goal of leading an organization.
- Women in general are more empathetic. Empathy, the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, is essential to lead and will be even more relevant when AI automates the mechanical tasks that leaders do today.
- People orientation: this predisposition to meet the needs of each team member and their motivation or frustrations, allows them to improve the work environment.
- They adapt better to change: they are able to take on new tasks without reluctance to a professional change.
- They are transformative and lead to another vision: to another point of view in the meetings of technology companies.
- Better management of emotional intelligence: Their social and emotional gifts play a key role in fitting each person into the workgroup.
Do you want to know real examples of women who are leaders in the digital economy? Check out this article about 20 successful women in the digital sector.
We hope that after reading this article it has become clear to you that we are all equal in accessing new technologies, and that women can be excellent leaders in ICT companies, giving us sufficient reasons to eliminate the digital gender gap forever.
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