With the International Women’s Day of 2023 having just passed by us, like always, I was pleased to see how relevant and important its themes were for this year. With the official theme for International Women’s Day being #EmbraceEquity and UN Women picking the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, I find both of them to be incredibly important and close to my heart.
As much as we like to celebrate the progress that has been achieved for gender equality, the reality of the matter is that there is still a long way to go. The facts remain that women’s exclusion from the digital realm has costed low and middle-income $1 trillion in their GDP just from the last decade or that how Internet is not a safe space for us with over 38% women revealed to have faced online violence in a study of 51 countries.
It is a stark reality that needs to be addressed and worked on…
Being a woman who works in the world of art and tech, I see a great room of improvement in both of these industries when it comes to gender equality. Keeping anecdotal evidence aside, statistics from the UK show us that only 19% of the tech workforce are women and the Women in Technology Survey 2019 revealed that 60% of women agreed that there is a gender pay gap with men earning higher salaries. So, not only are we getting limited seats at the table, but we’re also getting scraps in pay!
When it comes to the art world, it has been historically an inequitable place for women. Even today, the stats are quite bleak: a recent data analysis of 18 major US art museums showed that 87% of their collections are from male artists. The truth is women make up a wide majority of professional art museum staff, yet they remain underrepresented in leadership positions.
So, how can we change this?
It all starts with awareness, we need to encourage and let girls know that a career in the arts or STEM is a viable option. We need to invest resources in ensuring that there are courses and counselling in schools that direct young girls to discover their interest in this field early on. A culture of equality is not created overnight, it needs to start early on and from the grassroots level which will allow girls from future generations to live in a more equitable world.
Additionally, for women who are in the art and tech world, there needs to be a push for mentoring programs that will give these women the tools and network to succeed. Tech women and female artists will make for excellent mentors for young girls who need role models and representation in these fields. This mentorship will also benefit the mentors, helping them understand how crucial their contribution and work is which will be a definite confident boost.
There also needs to be extra focus placed on how the modern day workplace can be more inclusive and equitable for women. Organisations have to back to their drawing boards and think about how they can adopt policies that will foster a culture of equity, such as looking into remote working options or investing into training and development opportunities targeted towards the female workforce.
There is so much work and initiative that needs to take place for gender equity and it all needs to have started yesterday. However, we can make a start today and try to build a world that is all about embracing equity and diversity. As I mentioned in this blog earlier, the first crucial step is to spread awareness and then comes the rest. So, let us share as much as we can on our socials and real life about the improvements that can be made for women in the art and tech world, so hopefully the future will be brighter for all the young girls out there…
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Check my digital artwork collection here.