Digital skills help narrow workplace gender gap: Accenture

Digital skills are helping narrow the workplace gender gap, and gender equality could be achieved much sooner than expected if governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become digitally fluent, according to a report.

As per the new research report from Accenture, titled ‘Getting to Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work’, women still lag behind men in digital fluency in all but a handful of countries and improving their digital skills can change the picture.

If governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become digitally fluent, gender equality could be achieved in 25 years in developed nations, versus 50 years at the current pace, the report said adding that in developing countries, gender equality in the workplace could be achieved in 45 years, versus 85 years at the current pace.

“Women represent an untapped talent pool that can help fill the gap between the skills needed to stay competitive and the talent available,” Accenture’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pierre Nanterme said.

As per the report, in India, men use digital skills to prepare for and find work more frequently than women. Yet, when women and men have the same level of digital proficiency, women are better at leveraging it to find work.

Nearly 60 per cent of all survey respondents in India – men and women combined – agreed that digital skills enable them to work from home; 50 per cent said it provides a better balance between personal and professional lives; and a significant percentage said digital skills have increased access to job opportunities.

“There are many ways to narrow the gender gap in the workplace, but digital is a particularly powerful avenue,” Joydeep Mukherkjee, a managing director and lead for Financial Services Industry Group said.

“Although gender equality will not happen overnight, investments made in building women’s digital skills – through education, training and on-the-job learning – will help speed their progress at every career stage,” Mukherkjee said.