Raising the digital capital of women over 50
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
In celebration of International Women's Day, we want to highlight a grantee currently working on research that benefits kiwi women.
Surviving the ‘new normal’
Dr Caroline Keen, Keen Initiatives Ltd., Surviving the ‘new normal’: Seeking sustainable income by raising the digital capital of women over 50’
COVID-19 amplified our reliance on digital technologies and many of us started working from home more frequently. As we move forward, we see a ‘new normal’ developing in terms of our ways of working. Technology is so much a part of our working lives that we now assume a much higher minimum base level of digital competency.
In this research, Dr Caroline Keen looks to explore the digital dispositions of women over 50 who are vulnerable to disproportionate economic disadvantage.
As a group, women over 50 already suffer from rapid decline in employment and earning capacity despite accumulated work experience and skills. Many women in this age bracket are facing issues of reduced work, job loss or business closure exacerbated by the pandemic.
Keen will be exploring these issues through interviews with women, seeking to understand how they perceive barriers to achieving sustainable work as they age. As digital capacities are essential to future work a key aspect of this research will be to examine their digital experiences and capacities, and perceptions about the relevance of digital technology to them, and specifically their future employment.
Covid-19 recession – aptly named ‘shecession’ will have significant consequences for women in this age group, many of whom are Māori, in part-time or ‘swing’ jobs which have evaporated due to cutbacks and closures.
This research will help to understand the digital skills accumulated by this target group and how these skills can be leveraged to improve the opportunities for economic well-being among women over 50.
Each year InternetNZ gives out community grants to provide support for community-led initiatives that extend the availability, use, and benefit of the Internet and its associated technologies and applications in Aotearoa.
This initiative was a recipient of funding in 2020.