One Secret to Close the New Gender Gap Issues at Workplace

August 23, 20194:15 pm
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We currently live in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that brings about unprecedented opportunities as it opens a wider door for women to strengthen their skills in a more sophisticated way. With equal knowledge acquisition between men and women, this could help close the existing gender gap in society. 

The reality, however, says a different thing. Women in the workplace still have to encounter significant obstacles in taking on managerial and senior official roles which remains to be the major barrier to overcome. While the old gender issue persists, technology adds a new challenge for businesses in terms of gender parity. 

See also: Mindset Shift Needed to Address Gender Pay Gap: Ong Ye Kung

WEF Project Series that focus on closing the gender gap showed that gender gap stands at 68 percent, indicating that on average only 32 percent gap left to close. There might be a new challenge, however. The expansion of AI, as WEF illustrated, will create a demand for new skills in which neural networks, deep learning, machine learning, and tools will be hugely needed. This is not necessarily good news for women, given that female representation in this new pool remains limited. Only 22 percent of AI professionals globally are female, compared to 78 percent of those who are male. This accounts for 72 percent of gender inequality that is yet to close.#

Does this mean if technology continues to grow, the gender gap will also grow?

The answer to the question is, yes it likely happens so, unless there are digital fluency program practices in each sector of an organisation that focuses on the whole team, males and females included.

“The secret to closing the gender gap is by adapting the digital fluency”

Digital fluency helps individuals embrace and use digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected, and effective. It might also shorten the time taken to reach gender equality in workplaces by decades, as written in WEF project, in 2065, developed nations won’t be able to achieve gender parity in workplaces. Meanwhile, it will take more than decades for developing countries to achieve gender equality. Fortunately, we might not need to wait that long anymore. Accenture study reported that by doubling the pace at which women become digitally fluent, we can reach gender equality in the workplace by 2040 in developed countries and by 2060 in developing countries.

Further discussion suggested that digital fluency has a significant impact on every stage of a person’s career, including in employment, education, and leadership. Likewise, to achieve digital fluency in workplace, companies should put people at the centre of transformations by aligning the needs of customers to those of their employees. As written in Digital Marketing Institute, here are 4 ways to achieve digital intelligence and help close the gender gap in the workplace.

  1. Invest in employee development to help employees feel valued and have the necessary skills to thrive in a digital landscape. Upskilling is a good choice of organisation to provide agile development within a team.
  2. Invigorate leaders by understanding technology, embracing mentorship, and continuing to learn. A leader should first achieve digital maturity, themselves. Then, there will be a good chance for employees to become more confident in learning and adapting their leader’s behaviour toward digital fluency. 
  3. Integrate learning and work that enables an organisation to train staff through continuous learning opportunities. Integrating both can also help develop essential skills that benefit day-to-day tasks.
  4. Focus on a strategy that enables a business to look at possible capabilities your organisation needs in terms of technology espousal. 

Read also: Factor That Lies behind Gender Pay Gaps