Emerging Technology: A Double-Edged Sword in Gender Equality
What are some positives?
From the invention of the internet, we all experienced benefit such as connection without the limitation of distance and accessible education:
Opportunity for women in developing countries or from a less privileged background
Education offers a choice to escape from poverty. Learning skills to enter technology has given people more opportunities, including but not limited to women.
Having a career whilst being a mum
There are increasing women having an online business or becoming social media influencers such a rise of YouTube channel hosted by mums, because of the flexibility it offers. To be around the children and work in the hours as they want. I wonder why can’t traditional work allow flexible working, however, in a lot of cases I notice women have an even more successful career because they have to seek work outside of traditional 9–5. Of course, having a supportive partner helps too.
Whare might be the issues?
These are the issue we are facing as not enough women are in the tech industry:
Not enough decision-makers
Lack of diversity is always dangerous when we designed and created more product targeted to male consumers in tech. For example, there were issues around chatbot often has women’s voice, and that shows administered jobs are often expected of women. And money is heavily invested in the sex industry where female robots are being made a sex object.
The innovation of technology is exciting, but we need more than one angle. However, you might argue, it is not only a mistake that male makes. I do believe with more voice of women in technology, will help us to address these issues, and we will see less and less sexist products and services.
Increase gender pay gap
Technology literacy open doors. More and more emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain will only bring more wealth. If we don’t bring enough women with us, the gender pay gap will only become worse. If we don’t pay a conscious effort in making technology more accessible for women. Most of the women will end up doing a lower-paying job, without being educated and encouraged in technology.
If the future of technology builds more barrier for women to enter the job market because of the lack of interests. There are urgent needs to reflect and understand how can we build a future for a gender-inclusive world of technology.