How does online learning empower women?
Access to technology has changed our lives in ways we previously thought were impossible. Now we can see loved ones, attend a course or get a degree no matter where we are in the world. However, with the arrival of another International Women’s Day, we are reminded that their access to the Internet and technology is not always a given. As a result, it can be difficult for women to acquire the necessary skills to break into desired professional fields. In honor of this special day, this article explores the role online learning is playing in closing the gender gap in the workplace.
The importance of gender equality in the workplace
But first, let’s look at why supporting women in gaining their rightful place in the modern workplace is essential. First, we’re creating a larger talent pool that makes it easier for businesses to find the right person for the right position. And when businesses include more women in their workforce, they can build teams that offer more perspectives, come up with innovative ideas, and more effectively reflect their clientele. Not to mention, the more diverse and open your work environment is, the more talent you’ll attract and retain, and the better your brand image will be. As a result, gender equality in the workplace not only helps with the modernization of society, but also with the profitability of your organization.
4 ways eLearning is closing the gender gap
1. Providing flexibility
Some women may take a step back from their education and professional development due to internal responsibilities, i.e. caring for their children or other family members. The pandemic has exacerbated this situation by further reducing opportunities for social interaction, networking and development. However, at a time when upskilling and retraining have become a necessity, online training has become a valuable tool for women. Due to its inherently flexible nature, eLearning allows women to access courses and build their skills anytime, anywhere. Additionally, asynchronous or microlearning online training programs make it much easier to juggle childcare or professional responsibilities.
2. Developing the skills of the future
Research has shown that the fastest growing jobs worldwide will be technology related. Even traditional professions such as educators and salespeople today require digital skills. Therefore, the only way to close the workforce gender gap is to increase the presence of women in eLearning platforms. Online education programs provide courses in the skills of the future such as machine learning, information and communication technology, artificial intelligence and more. Most importantly, online learning can use features such as interactive scenarios or simulations to help students implement their newly acquired knowledge to solve real-world problems. Hands-on practice guarantees better learning outcomes and helps women easily enter their preferred career.
3. Creating a safe space
Even though they can attend on-site learning programs, some women may not get the same learning experience as their male counterparts. Surveys show that women are more reluctant to ask questions, share their opinions or participate in group activities. Online learning can overcome this barrier by utilizing features such as online office hours, chat platforms and online forums. Online courses can thus create a safe space for women to communicate with their lecturers, collaborate with peers and ultimately achieve better academic results.
4. Strengthening and cultivating autonomy
Unrestricted access to education contributes significantly to the empowerment of women. It is an issue of global importance that relates to feeling in control of your life, having the ability to make your own decisions, and understanding your own worth, as well as the influence you can have on a sociological, economic, and political level. By ensuring that everyone enjoys these basic human rights, it creates a world of greater understanding, cooperation, and thus progress and innovation. With its ability to bring education to the most remote corners of the planet, eLearning gives women the tools they need to become autonomous, develop personally and professionally, and discover their purpose in life.
The modern workplace is changing, and to move forward and embrace it, we need collaboration, inclusion and accessibility. That’s why, this International Women’s Day, we discussed how one of the most versatile and useful tools of our time, online education, can facilitate access to knowledge and close the gender gap in the workplace. The more women gain the skills they need to shape their future, the more positive change we will see in the world around us.