To bridge the gender digital divide, the IDB works with partners to find and scale effective solutions for helping women prepare for the jobs of the future.
The gender digital divide excludes women from many jobs, as the United Nation estimates that some 90% of employment opportunities worldwide require digital skills. The gender digital gap stems from social norms, that translate into stereotypes and a lack of sense of belonging in the digital realms. Other structural factors, such as differences in time allocation between men and women for care responsibilities, further reinforce the divide. Given the important role of schooling in shaping social norms, and building skills, education systems must be at the center of any strategy to close the digital gender divide.
Close your eyes and imagine a computer scientist!
When the IDB asked Latin American and Caribbean youth who belongs in computer science, female highschoolers have an exceptionally low sense of belonging. Neither do male highschoolers think that girls and women belong in computer science.
To combat gender stereotypes, the IDB seeks to foster girls’ sense of belonging in computer science from an early age. The IDB collaborates with policy makers, education communities, employers and researchers across Latin America and the Caribbean on education sector policy responses.
Digital Applications and Curricula
Digital applications and computer science curricula are often designed without the involvement of women in the development. The IDB works with partners to foster the development and use of education technology applications to make sure to help both boys and girls develop skills.
Gender Sensitive Pedagogical Practices.
IDB research has detected implicit gender stereotypes among teachers about who belongs in computer science. For example, in preschool robotics classrooms, teachers focused their attention disproportionately on boys. By training teachers in gender-sensitive pedagogical approaches, they learn to recognize and address biases and gender stereotypes.
Internationally, job openings in data analytics are soaring, including remote work opportunities. In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of job openings are available in data analytics. Latin America and the Caribbean has similar shortages of people with digital skills. To help solve the supply issue, partner organizations of the IDB have launched online training programs in data analytics, and other digital skills.
Digital exclusion of women and girls manifests itself in fewer women than men with access to and use of digital tools such as smartphones and internet.
The IDB collaborates with policy makers to support the digital empowerment of women and girls, including investments in access to digital tools, digital skill development, and online safety. This includes the involvement of women and girls in the design and validation of digital solutions.
A typical STEM job pays two-thirds more than a non-STEM-job. While half of the male highschoolers are aware of these higher returns in STEM-fields compared with other career paths, a minority of female highschoolers have this knowledge. In fact, IDB research has found that an overwhelming majority of females believe that the financial returns are higher in non-STEM fields. The IDB supports evidence-based policies to close the gender gap in career choice.
IDB launched the 21st Century skills Coalition to promote transversal skills and support the implementation of a new generation of educational and training policies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
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