This article is about “3 Ways Online Learning Can Narrow The Higher Education And Workforce Gender Gap”
- According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 published by the World Economic Forum, it will take women 132 years to achieve full parity with men in the workforce.
- Accelerating an equitable post-pandemic recovery will depend on providing women with the knowledge and skills they need to re-enter the workforce.
- By connecting women to better possibilities and prospects, online learning offers a priceless chance to level the playing field for women.
During the pandemic, women were among the most severely affected. Females were compelled to leave the workforce in large numbers, and altogether they lost more employment than men.
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According to the International Labour Organization, they are still at risk two years later, having been left behind in a “gender-unequal” employment recovery.
In contrast to pre-pandemic forecasts of only 100 years, the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2022 revealed that assuming the current trend maintains steady, it will now take 132 years to achieve full parity.
Accelerating an equitable recovery will depend on equipping women with the knowledge and abilities they need to re-enter the labor force and realize their full earning potential.
A growing opportunity to tackle this dilemma at scale is shown by new insights. The Global Gender Gap Report 2022, which uses Coursera data, identifies encouraging trends in online learning that could lead to more gender parity in higher education and workforce development.
By lowering obstacles for female students, enhancing gender inclusion in STEM disciplines, and linking women to growing skills and career possibilities, online learning is reducing gender education disparities and preparing women for in-demand positions in the digital economy. How? Read on.
Improving Gender Inclusion in STEM Fields
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, women have been enrolling in and earning degrees from higher institutions at rising rates over the past five years. However, there is still a gender divide in higher education.
Particularly in professions with high demand, including engineering and information and communication technologies (ICT), women continue to fall short. The survey also reveals that women are underrepresented in STEM subjects, which provide the fundamental knowledge for the rapidly expanding digital and technology jobs.
The “fastest-growing employment categories” globally, according to LinkedIn data from 2022, are in technology. Nine out of ten occupations are predicted to require digital skills in the future.
Data from Coursera in the Global Gender Gap 2022 report shows gender parity increased in online training for ICT in several economies between 2019 and 2021, with nations like Greece and Hungary reporting strong increases in the share of women enrolled in ICT.
This is a promising trend that could reduce these gaps. Online ICT enrollment for women increased from 9.2 percent to 16.1 percent in Saudi Arabia, a country in the Middle East.
Despite this progress, much more has to be done to close the gender gap in the digital world and enable a wider shift to online education, especially in developing nations. For instance, women’s online ICT enrollment in India increased slightly from 23.8 percent to 24.8 percent.
However, as just 33% of women in India have used the internet compared to 57% of males, expanding internet access might significantly increase the impact of online learning.
Additionally, in the next years, scaling learning interventions that support female learners in STEM will be made possible by the Indian government’s emphasis on promoting inclusive digital access and online learning.
Additionally, there is a chance to reconsider approaches to encourage more women to pursue STEM degrees. The report emphasises that men continue to be overrepresented in “male-dominated” sectors, particularly in STEM, in both traditional and online formats.
According to our findings, more female teachers can encourage more female students to pursue careers in STEM and other high-demand professions. Women are more inclined to enrol in and give higher grades in courses taught by female instructors.