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Close the IT skills gap by improving gender equality

Diana Bersohn | July 14, 2016
CIOs need to develop a future workforce now. The key to that is digital fluency, it empowers women, and it empowers CIOs with a robust source of talent.

Digital fluency is a boon for women trying to grow their careers and manage households simultaneously, and it offers an advantage to CIOs who are trying to build their workforce for the future.

It's time to catch up 

Digital has already influenced today’s workforce composition. The new “liquid workforce” as identified in the Accenture Technology Vision 2016, is a key trend. In the digital era, companies need to harness technology to enable the right people to do the right things in an adaptable, change-ready and responsive liquid workforce. Digital fluency promotes a liquid workforce by enabling increased flexibility and labor on demand.

The newfound fluidity and flexibility enabled by digital fluency also creates variable capacity for CIOs, a welcome change as they try to predict what roles and skills they need for the future to meet business needs in an increasingly dynamic and agile way.

Achieving balance

CIOs can aim to close the skills gap by improving gender equality and shaping a more flexible work environment. Here’s how:

Create more flexible workforce practices and policies. By creating employee-friendly practices and an environment that promotes flexibility, businesses can remove barriers for women and help all employees to achieve greater work/life balance.

Use collaboration technology tools more effectively. CIOs can walk the technology talk by adopting leading-edge technology that supports today’s liquid workforce. Many businesses have far-flung operations and a distributed workforce. Effective collaboration is crucial to their productivity. Accommodating that model is a critical success factor to leveling the playing field for women, and building a workforce of the future.

Eliminate 'internal/external.' Digital virtually dissolves the four walls of an organization and offers a launch pad to get CIOs out of a fixed-capacity model. New labor constructs that allow greater flexibility and access to talent on demand are new to many CIOs, and they open the doors to a broader set of skills and a deeper pool of talent.

Digital is a promising avenue for CIOs to close the skills gap, and its impact will only become more pronounced with future generations. Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of men and women believed that, “the digital world will empower our daughters.”

Digital fluency empowers women, and it empowers CIOs with a robust source of talent that can lead organizations into the future.

 

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