The Closing Technology Divide
There’s a ground-breaking change going on in society, says Sally Helgesen, author of The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work. Interviewed on Bnet.com, Helgesen notes that today, for the first time in human history, men and women are using the same basic tools at work. In other words, we’re all using computers, mobile phones and the same software, giving us the same experience.
As recently as the 1970s or even 1980s, Helgesen explains, men and women were working together, but they used very different tools. Men were more likely to be executives and not know how to type or (as computers entered the workplace) how to use the word processor. I still remember as recently as the 1990s one male executive I worked with who didn’t know how to use the copier or send a fax. (He finally learned how to type his own e-mails — using the 2-finger method.)
But today’s generation of executives are far more familiar with technology and have had to learn how to use everything from e-mail to smartphones and Excel to get along in the business world. As the Millennials increasingly take leadership roles in business—whether starting their own companies or as key players in your business—this trend toward “unisex” use of technology will only continue.
”I think this world-historic change is a lot more important than the different approaches–and often different levels of enthusiasm — men and women bring to their technology use,” Helgesen told Bnet.com. “Humans are tool-using animals, and the fact that men and women now routinely use the same tools will bring social changes whose impact is just starting to be felt.”
How do you think these changes will affect the way we do business in the coming years? Are they already affecting how you use technology in running your business? If you need ideas on using technology more effectively, SCORE has lots of resources to help.