Digital Skills Help Narrow the Workplace Gender Gap, Accenture Research Finds

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digitally savvy women are helping to close the gender gap in the
workplace. And digital fluency, the extent to which people embrace and
use digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and
effective, plays a key role in helping women achieve gender equality and
level the playing field.

A new research report from Accenture
(NYSE:ACN), Getting
to Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work
provides empirical proof that women are using digital skills to gain an
edge in preparing for work, finding work and advancing at work. The
report provides ample evidence that digital fluency acts as an
accelerant at every stage of a woman’s career — a powerful one in both
education and employment, and an increasingly important factor for
advancing into the ranks of leadership.

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. Gender equality
in the workplace could be achieved in 45 years in developing nations,
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,”
said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“There is a clear opportunity for governments and businesses to
collaborate on efforts that will empower more women with digital skills
– and accelerate gender equality in the workforce.”

Although digital fluency clearly helps women train for and gain
employment, the relationship between digital fluency and women’s
advancement is not as significant. This is expected to change as more
millennial women and digital natives move into management; the research
found that in the United States, six in 10 millennial women surveyed
aspire to be in leadership positions.

While the research determined that digital fluency is having a positive
impact on pay for both men and women, the gap in pay between genders is
still not closing. Men are, by far, the dominant earners by household
across all three generations – Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers.

“There are many ways to narrow the gender gap in the workplace, but
digital is a very promising avenue,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s group
chief executive for North America. “This is a powerful message for all
women and girls. Continuously developing and growing your ability to use
digital technologies, both at home and in the workplace, has a clear and
positive effect at every stage of your career. And it provides a
distinct advantage, as businesses and governments seek to fill the jobs
that support today’s growing economy.”


To identify and better understand the role of digital fluency in
workforce gender equality, the Accenture Digital Fluency Model was
developed. A survey was conducted in December 2015 and January 2016 of
more than 4,900 women and men in 31 countries to assess the extent to
which people are using digital technologies in their personal and home
life, as well as in their education and work. The sample included equal
representation of working men and women, representing three generations
(Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) across all workforce levels at
companies of varying size. The margin of error for the total sample was
approximately +/- 1.4 percent. Digital technologies include virtual
coursework, digital collaboration tools (webcams, instant messaging),
social media platforms and use of digital devices, such as smart phones.
Survey responses were combined with published reports and publicly
available information on education, employment and leadership and
research from the World Bank, the OECD, World Economic Forum and the ITU
World Telecommunication. Countries included in the Model are Argentina,
Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greater China
(includes Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy,
Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway,
Sweden), Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South
Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and
United States.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a
broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital,
technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and
specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business
functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network –
Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help
clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their
stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more
than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the
world works and lives. Visit us at


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