3 Ways Online Learning Can Narrow The Higher Education And Workforce Gender Gap

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.

3 Ways Online Learning Can Narrow The Higher Education And Workforce Gender Gap

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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.

Removing Barriers for Women Learners

According to global Coursera data in the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, the engagement of women in online learning has greatly increased and is starting to catch up to that of males in several countries.

According to Coursera, even as the gender employment gap worsened, the proportion of women taking online courses increased from 38 percent in 2019 to 45 percent in 2021.

Removing Barriers for Women Learners

Fortunately, the 2022 research also finds that gender discrepancies in online enrollment are “much fewer” than in traditional schooling.

This supports previous recent studies that revealed women saw online learning as more accessible than in-person education, citing mobility, safety, and family responsibilities as their primary determining considerations.

According to IFC research, 45% of women and 60% of female carers in developing nations claimed they would have had to delay or discontinue their studies if online learning hadn’t been an option.

Financing appeared as a significant obstacle for women and was reported by over half of the learners in the study to be in the bottom 50th percentile of income, highlighting the need of accessible learning in promoting fair outcomes.

Online learning approaches, with the advantages of technology and cheaper distribution costs, make it possible to reach women learners who would otherwise be excluded as broadband connectivity grows.

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.

Connecting Women to Skills and Jobs of the Future

In order to create a gender-equal recovery, the Global Gender Gap Report from last year emphasised the significance of “re-deploying and re-employing women in developing jobs.”

Online education is opening up new routes for women to access these positions in the future. Women students’ enrollment in entry-level credential programmes on Coursera increased dramatically from 25% in 2019 to 40% in 2021.

These certifications are assisting women in acquiring skills for a variety of entry-level digital positions online that prominent firms like Google, IBM, Meta, and Salesforce are creating to solve talent needs, including IT assistance, software development, UX design, and social media marketing.

Connecting Women to Skills and Jobs of the Future

Women now have the ability to flexibly build skills for occupations that may be done from anywhere as work trends change thanks to the forces of online learning and remote work.

The Global Gender Gap Report for this year indicates that gendered learning profiles reveal disparities between the abilities that men and women prioritise, suggesting that women may actually have an advantage in this area.

Women are more inclined to invest in “working with people” and self-management skills like “resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility,” which are among the top 10 job skills of tomorrow, but males are more likely to choose to upskill in technology and innovation skills.


How does the World Economic Forum advance workplace equality?

The Forum is collaborating with Partners to accept the possibility that talented, important stakeholders may not look like you or your colleagues.

Building successful, inclusive, and equitable economies and societies is a key goal of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.

It targets exclusion, bias, and discrimination linked to race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and all other types of human diversity by using an integrated and holistic approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

The Forum is collaborating with a global coalition of organisations through the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative to create just and equitable workplaces for professionals who belong to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

  • The Forum is equipping the world’s workforce with the skills necessary to ensure careers into the future through the Reskilling Revolution. To improve education, skills, and employment opportunities for 1 billion people by 2030, the project is collaborating with more than 350 organisations.
  • The Forum is dedicated to reducing gender disparities in the workplace. The Forum has been tracking gender inequalities in various nations since 2006 for its yearly Global Gender Gap Report. In nations including Chile, Argentina, Egypt, Jordan, and Kazakhstan, the Forum has assisted in the establishment of groups of accelerators aimed at reducing the economic gender gap.
  • The Forum is working with the largest worldwide network of CEOs devoted to disability inclusion through its partnership with the Valuable500. Through initiatives like the growing adoption of best practises for digital accessibility and the inclusion of disability in diversity, equity, and inclusion plans, members are already decreasing the gap in disability inclusion.

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Aishwar Babber

Aishwar Babber is a passionate blogger and a digital marketer. He loves to talk and blog about the latest tech and gadgets, which motivates him to run GizmoBase. He is currently practicing his digital marketing, SEO, and SMO expertise as a full-time marketer on various projects. He is an active investor in AffiliateBay.

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