The world's digital divide was an important and serious discussion many years ago. The term was used to describe the discrepancy between people who have access to - and the resources to use - new information, communication and media tools (e.g. the Internet), and people who do not have access to those resources and technologies.
The world of course has changed since that phrase first entered the lexicon, but while the digital divide has lessened somewhat, it's still present. Facebook's recent initiative with its Internet.org partners including Qualcomm and Ericsson has put the technology disparity in its sights, hoping to bring Internet access to the 5 billion people that are still not yet connected, as well as addressing the necessary technologies required to accommodate the 1,000 times more Web traffic (of which there are many) that will result. Yet another, perhaps more insidious, divide remains.
I started thinking about the digital divide - as well as the concept of division in general - in another context recently. It's not only access that separates some from technology, it can also be gender. The technology industry has, at least historically, been predominantly male (although it's most certainly shifting). Only 2 percent of open source developers and only 28 percent of B.S. degrees in Computer Science were women. Why exactly? A study from the Level Playing Field Institute found that workplaces like tech startups can be "hostile or unpleasant environments" leading to those employees seeking out other companies or even other industries to work.
The divide was well highlighted and illustrated with quite the hullabaloo in early September 2013 when a presentation at an event for tech startups featured a mobile application that was, shall we say, if not salacious in nature, then certainly sophomoric. It's not necessary to go into the details of what that app actually did, but let's just say that it objectified women, surely making the females in attendance uncomfortable, which included a 9-year-old girl presenting at the event. Who would want to subject themselves to that and what does it say to that 9-year-old girl?
Closing the gender divide just doesn't fall on the shoulders of the men in tech. Women in the field need to commit themselves to speaking to groups like Women in Technology or breaking out of their comfort zones to present at - or even organize - career days in underprivileged areas. Young girls in poverty are even less likely to know what technology careers are available to them or the roads they have to take to get there. When they don't have access to technology, it's even more difficult to imagine building a future around it.
There is still a battle raging between the digital have's and have not's, and there is still a shortage of women in the technology sector - at least those that feel respected and confident enough to participate, compete and innovate.
As the Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine and President of Website Services, Peter has established himself as a prominent figure in the digital marketing industry. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Peter has been a driving force in shaping the landscape of digital marketing. His leadership in creating innovative and targeted marketing campaigns has helped numerous businesses achieve their revenue growth goals. Under his direction, Website Magazine has become a trusted source of information and insights for digital marketers worldwide. As President of Website Services, Peter oversees a team of talented professionals who specialize in SEO/SEM, email marketing, social media, and digital advertising. Through his hands-on approach, he ensures that his team delivers exceptional results to their clients. With a passion for digital marketing, Peter is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies, making him a sought-after thought leader in the field.