Digital Inclusion for Women a Must: Tatiana ClouthierBy MBN Staff | Tue, 01/26/2021 - 09:04
Bringing different ideas into a common agenda and prioritizing the inclusion of women in digital and economic advances are the biggest challenges to achieving social justice in the economy of the future, said Minister of Economy Tatiana Clouthier during her participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF). “We have to empower women with digital skills, especially in a country like Mexico where we have areas where women are lagging far behind. The biggest problem is how to address these gaps while at the same time stopping violence against them,” she said on Monday.
As of 2019, 58.3 percent of men had access to the internet globally, compared to 48.8 percent of women, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In Mexico, only two out of every 10 engineering professionals were women in that same year. Similar gaps are found among professionals in Information and Communication Technology and Computer Science, where women account for 23.5 percent and 37.5 percent or the talent pool, respectively.
Clouthier pointed out that women need better jobs, which depends on the state providing digital skills and education to better integrate them to the economy. She stressed that 657,000 jobs have been lost in Mexico and that the trade-off between healthcare and employment is the biggest challenge today. “If we have almost completely full hospitals, what is the balance we should have? How do we give families the means to bring money home without them getting sick and ending up in a hospital, as well?” she asked.
According to Endeavor Intelligence’s data released last September, only 25 percent of all tech startups in Latin America are led by women and these firms are on average three times smaller than those led by men. In Mexico, only 15.16 percent of a total of 653 tech entrepreneurs are women.
However, the study notes, women are increasingly making their way into tech and entrepreneurship. Companies in this sector have increased the presence of women between 2015 and 2018, both in the operational area as well as in management and executive positions, reported the Centre for Research on Women in Senior Management (CIMAD) of IPADE.
The Mexican government has worked with companies and embassies to provide new tools for women in Mexico, including access to e-commerce, which mainly benefits women who already have small businesses that can now grow through the internet, stated Clouthier.