GenTIC researchers Milagros Sáinz and Lidia Arroyo, together with Cecilia Castaño from the Complutense University of Madrid, co-author a new study that explores the recent research literature on the gender digital gaps and analyses the transformations and current challenges of the digital society from a gender perspective. The research has been published by the Spanish Institute for Women in collaboration with the National Observatory of Telecommunications and Information Society (ONTSI) of Red.es, a public entity attached to the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.
Based on a Life Course approach (Castaño & Webster, 2011), the authors illustrate the complexity of women’s life trajectories in relation to ICT/STEM. The study offers data both from the Spanish context and at the European and international levels on gender inequalities in relation to: the access to digital tools and infrastructures (first digital gap); the acquisition of digital skills and differences in the use of technologies (second digital gap); and the benefits linked to the Internet use as well as the implications that digital participation has in relation to citizenship rights (third digital gap).
In diverse chapters dedicated to employment and to the ICT industry, the authors analyze the transformations of the labor market in the context of digitalization and show evidence of existing gender biases in the design and application of new technological advances, as well as gender inequalities regarding participation and leadership in the artificial intelligence, Big Data, and Machine Learning fields.
Finally, the publication addresses the sociocultural, institutional and psychosocial factors that explain the unequal distribution of roles and responsibilities between women and men, and explores some of the public policies and interventions implemented by the educational and business sectors to promote ICT and STEM career interests among girls and young women.
This study has been funded by the Spanish National Observatory of Telecommunications and the Information Society (ONTSI) with the aim of reviewing the current state of the art around the complex issue of gender inequalities and biases in the digital society and offering recommendations for policy and practice.