Women have better digital skills but men land the lucrative tech work

Brookings Institution reports improvements in digital education and training a must as digital demands grow.
Brookings Institution report

Brookings Institution in Washington DC

Men typically dominate high-paying tech jobs, but a new study from the Brookings Institution finds women have better digital skills.

The study from the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution is titled, “Digitalization and the American Workforce.

It measured men's and women's digital abilities and found that overall women had stronger skills than men do.

The authors of “Digitalization and the American Workforce” are Mark Muro, Sifan Liu, Jacob Whiton and Siddharth Kulkarni.

"Women, with slightly higher aggregate digital scores (48) than men (45), represent about three-quarters of the workforce in many of the largest medium-digital occupational groups, such as healthcare, office administration, and education, the study found. “Conversely, men continue to dominate the highest-level digital occupations, such as computer, engineering and management fields, as well as lower-digital occupations such as transportation, construction, natural resources, and building and grounds occupations."

Digitalization is changing the skills needed to access economic opportunity while creating new race- and gender-based access challenges, the authors found. In keeping with these trends, the overall takeaway here is twofold, as befits a powerful but ambiguous trend.

Digitalization, for one thing, is vastly expanding the potential of the American economy, they note and generating opportunities for many. However, the construction of an inclusive labor market as digitalization proceeds won’t happen by itself. Instead, it will require significant improvements in digital education and training, both to broaden the high-skill talent pipeline and ensure that underrepresented groups can connect to an increasingly digital economy. Also, it is going to be important for workers to get better at being “what we are that computers aren’t,” the authors conclude.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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