How CIOs can help close the gender-equity gap

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The gender pay gap is as wide as ever. Women remain severely underrepresented and underpaid in the global workforce, earning, on average, $100 for every $140 a man earns. But we can help change this. Digital technologies may be what ultimately helps women get into work, advance and close the gender pay gap.

At Accenture, we conducted global research – Getting to Equal 2017 – which examines the challenges and opportunities in helping close the gender pay gap. We found that women graduating in 2020 from universities in developed markets could be the first generation to close the pay gap in 2044, well within their professional lifetimes.

But what role should companies—and CIOs—have in harnessing the power of digital technologies to help close the gap? Our research spanning 29 countries found three powerful “equalizers” that could help women advance in their careers, increase their income and close the pay gap.

1. Digital fluency

Digital fluency—the extent to which people use digital technologies to connect, learn and work—is an accelerant at every stage of a woman’s career, and an increasingly important factor for advancing into the leadership ranks. The potential global impact of digital fluency is profound.