When there are no equal opportunities and women remain oppressed, potential cannot be fully actualised.
Let’s face it, not all women have equal access to technology. Technology is a powerful tool for any girl child to be empowered and can broaden their horizons and decrease the digital divide. Women still suffer the effects of an unfair gender pay gap, low representation in leadership roles as well as not being represented enough in the Technology industry across the globe.
Generation equality requires equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, health-care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in governmental policies across the board.
Technology has the capacity to reduce gender gaps, lessen oppression and give access to opportunities that would increase social status and increase digital resources for generations to come. Women who occupy spaces in technology need to keep creating opportunities for girls and making sure that they are equipped and given exposure to more opportunities in technology.
Education in Technology and STEM needs to be readily available to girls and women, internet access must be made available, ownership of and access to digital devices can offer additional employment opportunities, stable income, entrepreneurship and a better future for more women. Having more women in higher positions can improve the social status of women and the way they are perceived in our South African society. We know that technology roles are the some of the highest paid in the world, so higher inclusion of women can enable them to ensure a better economic position for themselves. To achieve gender parity, digital technology grants an opportunity to narrow gender gaps by enhancing access to services and information. Access to digitally transferred resources allows for greater security, more empowerment and having technology social skills to compete in the digital economy. Creating gender responsive environments to assist women and girls to develop in technology especially in rural areas is vital.
Brigham young quote: “You educate a man, you educate just an individual but educate a woman you educate a generation”. Give a woman an opportunity and she will make a difference in her generation and it will be passed down for generations to come.
Digital transformation has helped to increase fundraising efforts, improve service delivery, expand trust and transparency, enhance marketing and communications, and support the day to day operations of many nonprofit organisations. It is good to embrace digital acceleration adjusting to the demands of the moment, adapting to digital acceleration to further the cause.
By better understanding and integrating women’s needs into product development, organisations can build profitable new markets while supporting social progress for women. It is therefore essential for organisations to avail opportunities to expand access to technology for women in emerging markets and address gender specific needs. Closing the gender gap in technology will require organisations to adapt their products and offerings to women by specifically integrating local cultural contexts. Service offerings need to be based on actual needs and experiences of women in their communities and create safe environments and focus on women’s empowerment. Workspaces and public areas need to be a safe environment for women, and sometimes necessary for these to be facilities exclusively used for women. Training programmes and mentorship needs to be tailored for women. Translation options are imperative to enable women to partake in global events, to get more global assistance in the form of grants and funding.
Integrating gender-specific local needs into product development and dissemination can help more women in the developing world, access and use technologies that can improve their lives. ICT organisations need to scale up these projects to see a difference in society. We must all improve the lives of our women and girls across the globe. As Jensine Larsen once said, “If we combine the best of the global technology industry with the ingenuity and resourcefulness of women on the ground to solve the digital divide challenge, we can unlock a colossal wave of human potential and freedom for future generations.”
There are less women in technology, with only 23% are represented. To create diversity in the workplace, more women must be hired. A more intense initiative needs to be undertaken to promote technology jobs, and the sector need to make it more appealing. Women and girls must be skilled and educated in STEM to compete and partake in the industry. Many systemic risks and prospects exist for women’s equality today, as do specific educational, technological and policy solutions that must be implemented to alleviate these problems.
Women around the world are still faced with patriarchal structures, limitations, no education and no correct policies and rights that enable women to flourish in Technology. A new digital economy has emerged, and it is imperative for all developing economies to adjust. Digital tools can be pointed towards advancing equality, in particular women’s rights in the digital age.
To accomplish full potential of the digital revolution for social justice, including gender equality whilst battling abject poverty and rising inequalities, democratic regressing, reversals of progress, gender based digital exclusion must be addressed within broader structural trends and institutional changes. Institutions, organisations, and government needs to move further than the focus on improving women’s access to and use of digital technologies and getting more women in technology.
It is time for women to have emancipation and develop, receive a deserving income so that they can influence and impact communities and generations. Multiple studies show that diversity at the workplace can bring increased productivity and faster innovation to the technology sector.
Women arise and populate the space and explore all opportunities that Technology sector can offer.
Rise women and take your positions in Technology. As a woman you deserve to be in the boardroom. Do not settle for less and seize all opportunities. Healthy good people build and encourage others.
Sheryl Sandberg once said “We must raise the ceiling and the floor.“ – NOW is our time as Women of South Africa to rise!