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New Accenture research shows that across developed and developing markets, digital fluency — or having the capabilities/competency needed to carry out internet-related functions — is the single most critical factor in closing the pay gap, because it increases the chances of more women getting paid work.

Digital fluency's potential impact is life-changing. Nearly 100 million women would be added to the paid workforce, with almost two trillion dollars of additional income, while cutting decades off the pay gap—all by 2030.

There's a long way to go:

  • Early adopters of new technology are overwhelmingly male at the undergrad level — 63% versus 45% female
  • When it comes to continuously learning important new digital skills, Accenture research shows that male undergraduates again outperform female undergrads, 53% to 44%
  • When it comes to undertaking specialist coding or computer courses, males are more likely to do so: 83% versus 68% for females

Why it matters: Accenture research shows that 84% of female undergrads believe the pay gap either doesn't exist or will close within 20 years — a sharp contrast to the reality of a gap that will exist for longer than a century without intervention. The message to young women, educators, employers and governments should be clear that digital fluency is vital, internet access is fundamental, and helping women make smart choices to obtain paid work is essential in closing the gender pay gap.

George Marcotte is the Managing Director and Go-to-Market Lead for Accenture Digital UK and Ireland.

Go deeper

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.

Congress passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate voted 69-28 to pass legislation Thursday night to fund the government until February 18.

Why it matters: The move staves off a government shutdown but lawmakers still have a busy month ahead: Congress needs to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling in a few weeks and Democrats are trying to pass their behemoth social spending bill.

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.