Does the pandemic stimulate digitalization?
Today the word “digital” is part of our collective DNA, but also in the way we work or approach work. Digital technology, digital media, digital marketing, digital transformation, all of them and everything is digital. The high mortality rate of companies in the digital era is nothing less than shocking.
The digital touches every aspect of our lives. In developed countries, everything that can be digitalized is digitalized, and in order to survive in the digital world, every individual should react quickly to remain relevant.
More than 50% on the Fortune Global list of most successful companies have not been fully digitalized at the start of the pandemic, while a total of 500 companies dropped out of the list since 2000 because they were not digitally competitive.
Furthermore, various studies have shown there is an imbalance in the contribution between men and women in improving digital skills or leading digital initiatives.
In terms of key initiatives for digital transformation, KPMG1 research shows that globally, 48% of female leaders are satisfied with state of the art technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain. It is astonishing that women have only 5% of leadership positions in the technological industry. Research shows that greater diversity leads to better decision making, which results in better production of innovative products and services. If the differences are big, then women find it difficult to lead the way.
More women in digitalization
We have all heard of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates, who have become the face of the technology industry and with them it looks completely male. There is a shortage of women in technology – which is worrisome. Few people know that the first programmer in the world was Ada Lovelace and we know very little about her. Born in 1815 in London, she was a mathematician and published the first algorithm for machines.
This requires better perception of the advances that women can achieve in this complex field and gender balance in the digital transformation is urgently needed. Although change takes time, it will ultimately create role models for generations of women who are looking for challenging careers. It cannot be denied that the pandemic brought huge changes worldwide. After decades of progress in women’s equality, the impact of COVID-19 is felt as a significant step back because of the imbalance of household chores, including childcare, and the disproportionate economic impact on employed women.
How women demonstrate resilience in challenging times and why the future of jobs is skills development
In Europe many women hope that the pandemic will not turn the clock back and will not destroy the years of hard work in search of equality. After the pandemic women are taking the opportunity to upgrade their skills in digitalization and find opportunities for career prosperity.
Covid affected all industries in the region, particularly textile, processing, canning and similar sectors which dominantly employ women. Women in the region were more likely to be sent home, have their work hours cut or become redundant. This stark statistical data further supports the idea that women should adapt and upgrade the skills they already have to remain relevant in a highly competitive environment.
Many women who are parents believe that managing childcare during COVID-19 obstructed their career prospects. When they are trying to find a balance, employed mothers think that it is a challenge to manage their careers and at the same time take care of children, while many mothers shared that their employers are not flexible when they are trying to maintain both.
Entrepreneurship looks more attractive to women post pandemic
The period of the pandemic, although a big challenge – particularly because staying home meant taking care of children, education, doing homework and simultaneously doing household chores and work tasks, impossibility to concentrate in a home environment in a period when work obligations demand greater coordinator and result in work until late – has proven that women manage to deal with it by being resilient and having an entrepreneurial way of thinking. Motivated to succeed with great plans in mind, many women hope to start up their own venture and some of them have already started their first business.
After the pandemic many women plan to attend trainings in order to give impetus to their careers, which opens the question: how can women overcome this time feeling powerful to strive towards the career they want?
The answer? Upskilling. Women plan to invest time and effort to expand their skills in order to improve their career opportunities, now and after the pandemic.
Enabling women to develop business and entrepreneurial skills
Women possess superior social skills that can be used in entrepreneurial goals in the digital era. These social skills are mainly prominent in jobs where women stand out: such as greater feeling of responsibility toward the wider community, greater empathy, more efficient communication and willingness to adapt to changes. Becoming a digital leader means upgrading your skills for coding and digital marketing and applying these skills to create business possibilities.
Financing female technology entrepreneurs
It is a challenge to acquire capital for women-led start-ups. If the goal is to see more successful technology start-ups led by women, then it might not be enough encouraging women to become digital leaders. India is currently ranked 70 out of 77 nations on the Female Entrepreneurship Index. Source: Economic Times.
Women in the region today find it easier to decide and become entrepreneurs at a younger age (between 25 and 30) because they are braver, have nothing to lose, they have developed in a digital world and are better informed and connected than women who are more mature and with some experience (after 40 years of age). The reasons for this are the difficulty to find a good position, fear of failure, inability to be fully committed to the business, having second thoughts about beginning in challenging times, as well as limited financial resources.
Digitalization and transformation are more accessible than ever
The pandemic has allowed all of us more time for ourselves and a lot of time to reflect. Women who stayed home took the opportunity for personal growth and development. Digital tools are a universal means for progress regardless of profession. Here are some examples of software or digital tools that are at our disposal that you might be not be aware of and that could be of great help whether you work in financial management, marketing, the pharmaceutical sector, etc. Some tips:
Google Calendar link
Instead of having a secretary or making phone calls and appointments with your partners and associates, add a Google Calendar link under your signature in the email, so that everyone can access and see the hours planned for meetings and make an appointment automatically, without you spending a single second on it.
Administration, logistics even human resources people love sending excel tables to each employee and then spend several days to consolidate them into one document. Instead use Excel Spreadsheet where all information about staff can be automatically written and stored in one place.
Need to design a poster or infographic? Need to edit a photo to post it on social media? CANVA offers web and mobile versions which allow you to create designs that suit the identity of your brand in just a few minutes. CANVA is great for creating personal design such as e-cards, invitations and ads for social media.
CloudApp ensures a fast and simple way to record your screen as a video, using both your voice and face. This app is an incredible alternative to online meetings. Simply record your message using CloudApp and send it to your team members. A great substitute for Skype, Zoom, MS Teams.
Are you struggling to find the perfect font for your project? FrontSpark is an easily accessible folder for fonts which generates ideal fonts for specific word formations, which makes it great for finding fonts for headlines, as well as for discovering new fonts that you can use in your digital projects.
Why is it always so hard to find a good image resizer? Well, with PROMO you will no longer struggle. PROMO offers a fast and easy way to change the size of your images so that they meet the needs of your project.
Looking for incredible stock photos? Pexels offers a wide array of different photos for free. Finding the perfect image has never been easier.
Removebg is a fantastic application for removing the background in photos. Cut out silhouettes, sections or objects from an image and put them on the background you desire in a short amount of time!
Unsplash is a popular page with stock photos and an excellent place to search for corporate style images as well as creative photos that you can use free of charge for the needs of your digital project. Unsplash has been around for many years and has built an excellent reputation.
Anything related to PDF can be done for free on iLovePDF, such as merging PDF-files, splitting PDF-files, compressing PDF-files, converting PDF-files and editing PDF-files. If you have ever struggled with a PDF document, this is the page for you!
About the Author
Biljana Severinova is an independent management, strategy, marketing, and business development consultant, specializing in the SME sector, with over 18 years’ experience.
She is an experienced consultant with a strong background in banking and finance, communications, marketing, and sales.
She does access-to-finance, appealing strategies, innovations, marketing, branding, and market export projects for small and medium enterprises in Macedonia, especially experienced with companies involved in local production, agriculture, and ICT.