Digital Fluency Could Close The Gender Gap

7th December 2016

Posted In: The Topic

Accenture, the global professional services company, has created the Accenture Digital Fluency Model, a tool that enables the company to analyse our digital world in terms of ‘digital fluency’ and its effect on gender equality throughout the career lifecycle.

It describes digital fluency as “the extent to which people embrace and use digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective”. Accenture asked nearly 5,000 women and men in 31 countries about their use of digital technologies — the devices they have access to, from smartphones to wearables, and how and when they used them. The survey also asked specifics about their education and career.

This resulted in Accenture’s report ‘Getting To Equal – How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work’, where Ireland ranks 8th out of 26 countries in terms of ‘Accenture Digital Fluency Model Overall Scores for Women’.

The report examines 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.

Almost half of the working women surveyed said they use digital to work from home and to access job opportunities: 41 percent said digital helped them balance their personal and professional lives, and to access job opportunities.

This highlights the importance of digital fluency in helping countries progress toward equality in the workplace. Differences in the digital fluency of men and women, and between countries today, mean every country is at a different stage of this journey and must address a different set of priorities. For example, Japan has high levels of digital fluency but low gender advancement rates, which tells of a cultural issue that must be addressed before “they can truly maximise their female talent”.

This article was originally published in the 2016 Annual WMB Magazine and can be read in full here (pdf) >>