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Bridging the digital gender divide: Include, upskill, innovate

This report has been produced at the request of the Australian Government to support advancement of the 2017 G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future, in particular its dimension on supporting the equitable participation of women in the digital economy. It aims to provide policy directions for consideration by all governments, including G20 economies’ governments through identifying, discussing and analysing a range of drivers at the root of the digital gender divide. While G20 economies have already put in place a number of important actions aimed at narrowing the gender gap, more needs to be done in light of the many worrying signs of a widening digital gender divide and the compounded effect that its different components may have in the future. The report finds that hurdles to access, affordability, lack of education as well as inherent biases and socio-cultural norms curtail women and girls’ ability to benefit from the opportunities offered by the digital transformation. In addition, girls’ relatively lower educational enrolment in disciplines that would allow them to perform well in a digital world – such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as information and communication technologies – coupled with women’s and girls’ more limited use of digital tools could lead to widening gaps and greater inequality., This report presents the outcomes and findings of a multifaceted approach integrating complementary work, articulated around the following key areas of analysis: (1) the gender divide and digital technologies; (2) leapfrogging opportunities for reducing the gender gap, discussing some of the many opportunities that digital technologies offer for narrowing the digital gender divide; (3) equipping women and girls with the skills needed to thrive in the digital era; (4) jobs and skills in the digital transformation; (5) women and innovation; (6) learning from experience; and (7) the role of policy in bridging the digital gender divide.