By Naseerah Nanabhai
According to a report published for International Women’s Day 2022, the digital economy empowers women economically and can contribute to greater gender equality. It may contribute to breaking gender barriers and bridging the digital divide, allowing women to become fearless entrepreneurs, and endorse strategies and policies that promote women’s entrepreneurship.
Women were largely excluded in the first, second, and third industrial revolutions. After two centuries of economic domination by men, the fourth industrial revolution allowed flexible employment opportunities for women and automation that lowered the entry barriers to careers in what were once physically arduous industries.
Women are significantly under-represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In 2020, women only accounted for 17.9% of digital technology positions globally.
This digital gender divide is attributed to many factors, including the constraint of women by the lack of digital resources, financial resources, and fear of online safety. Socio-cultural thinking also discourages women from setting foot in the tech sector.
However, societal norms are changing, and opportunities are opening up as more women enter the sector and smooth the path for others to follow. As more women work in the tech sector, they will build experience to start their tech start-ups later.
The tech industry will continue to bring change in habits and behaviours and will create significant wealth. Tech companies have already changed our lives in many ways, and they are at the forefront of bringing in new trends.