Technical Inequality

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Initial considerations, gender equality is a topic close to my heart but in which I am lacking a proper framework to build proper arguments

If we have a society in which access to technology is not homogeneous then we will create inhomogenous power structures. Even though the gender gap for digital literacy seems to be closing, at least in Europe, (@punter2017), the tests evaluate only basic online skills. They don't take into account, for example, the time boys or girls spend programming and not just using a computer.

And this is incredibly relevant, because if male students start their computer journeys earlier, they will arrive to higher education in possession of a technical advantage compared to girls the same age. If there is truly gender divide between who is interested in being a computer creator (as opposed to user ) that becomes a long-term problem, and may be one of the reasons behind the lack of gender diversity in academia , or more broadly the gender unbalance at higher-education.

Some software icons such as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg are the epitome of this. They've managed to build companies before even finishing their studies. Could it be that they started their journey before they actually went to college?

For the past decades, software companies have been amassing power as never before. Digital products, data harvesting, policy making. If there is a bias regarding who can start a software-based enterprise, there will be a bias on who will run these companies and, more importantly, the products and solutions they offer will neglect a large part of the population (half of it, to be precise).

In a world where algorithms are increasingly shaping how we live, technical inequality means that a group of the population has no saying on the decisions taken upon them.

Tags: #gender #gender-and-technology #gender-bias


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Aquiles Carattino
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