Efforts to improve digital fluency among both men and women yield numerous benefits, both in the workplace and for society as a whole. The greater a given population’s digital fluency, the greater the equality between the sexes. In short, digital fluency is good for everyone.

As I shared in my previous post, accelerating digital fluency is an excellent way to help close the gender gap that continues to exist in the workplace and beyond. However, this acceleration is especially important when it comes to women. It’s been estimated that concerted efforts to improve the level at which women embrace and use digital technology could shave decades off of the time it will take to reach gender parity worldwide. Here is why.

What digital does for women

Accenture’s Digital Fluency Model―which charts how digital fluency impacts a person’s education, employment experience, and work advancement―indicates women benefit more than men by becoming digitally fluent. For example, among women and men who are equally fluent, the women achieve a higher level of education. Women also understand how to apply digital technology to be more productive and achieve greater work satisfaction―often in the form of more flexibility.

closing-the-gender-gap-at-work-with-digital

For women, digital fluency opens both educational and employment opportunities and provides greater flexibility in integrating work with family responsibilities. In fact, nearly 60% of currently unemployed women believe the ability to work from home or have a more flexible work schedule―enabled by digital technology―would help them enter the workforce.

On the business side, a lack of digital skills and capabilities is increasingly driving major talent shortages across the business environment, while at the same time women continue to be underrepresented in the workforce. Digital literacy helps level the playing field by creating opportunities for flexible work arrangements and new types of jobs that will help bring more women into the workforce, filling critical talent needs.

Lastly, digital technology enables more women to become entrepreneurs. Women know this and they are taking advantage of it―especially in emerging markets.

What does this mean to your firm?

It’s very likely your firm is experiencing the impacts of the gender gap in one way or another―either through talent shortages or the inability to make the best use of the talent available. As I’ve explained in this and my previous post, there are considerable business and societal impacts from gender disparity, and great benefits to gain from closing the gender gap.

In my next post, I’ll provide practical steps for driving increased digital fluency among your employee base―with a special focus on female talent.

To learn more about closing the workplace gender gap through digital fluency, please see:

Getting To Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work

Harvard Business Review: Access to Digital Technology Accelerates Global Gender Equality

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