Is her time Online any different to His?

differences between men and women onlineMen and women differ in many ways, including the way we use the Internet. While women tend to use the Internet on a frequent basis, men tend to test out more new technologies sooner. Let’s take a closer look at how women and men vary when it comes to shopping online.

Difference #1: Time Spent Online
A recent poll by PCMag showed that men spend more than 19 hours online each week, while women tend to spend around 14 hours online each week. Men tend to get online more frequently and stay online for longer periods of time.

Age does matter when it comes to Internet use. A report by Pew Internet stated that women under 30 use the Internet more than men in their age groups, but older men are use the internet more frequently than women their age.

Difference #2: Online Communication
In a 2010 report by comScore, women are more interested in online communication than men, be it social networking, instant messaging or email. In 2012, more than 67% of adults used the Internet for social networking, with women (71%) being more involved on social networking sites than men (62%). While men may log on more frequently, according to a BizReport article, 83% of women check their email daily compared to 75% of men.

Difference #3: What Do We Use The Internet For?
Men most often use the Internet to read news, check sports scores, buy and sell stocks and get sports news, shop via online auctions, download music and watch shows and movies. Women, on the other hand, more often use the Internet to seek out information, shop or look for deals on shopping sites like LivingSocial or Groupon.

According to the comScore report, Men and women use the Internet at the same rate to watch videos via high-speed Internet – but the big difference here is where they’re watching videos. Men spend exponentially more time watching full videos online in general, but women (36%) are more likely than men (22%) to watch YouTube.

Do you notice a difference in the way you and the men in your life use online time?

Contributed by: Skylar Michelle James is a graduate student in the Boston area. When she’s not studying or working on her thesis about the Internet Philosophy, she likes to write freelance articles about the future of the Internet and what’s next in technology. Follow her on Twitter @SkyJamesWriter.

The Diminishing Relevance of Booth Babes in 2013 – Aren’t the Products Sexy Enough?

With well over half of consumer technology sales now being made to women, one wonders how long it be until IT companies realise that pandering to gender stereotypes, offers diminishing returns in the long-run. It’s insulting to the men attending, makes the industry look archaic in it’s PR efforts and doesn’t show much confidence in their wares if they think semi-naked women will be the primary draw to their products.

Plus, as displayed in this short video, it makes the growing number of women in technology who attend bemused at best and degraded at worst. Not a great marketing strategy for most technology firm’s fastest growing target market – women. As mentioned in the video, it shows a real lack of ‘forward thinking leadership’ on the part of the Consumer Electronics Show’s organisers.

Even China, the hottest market for consumer technology, is showing much more proactivity, banning the use of such models at their industry shows. The answer is in expecting punters to focus on the technology, and not adding topless men as suggested. Objectifying women is not remedied by equally objectifying men.

So How’s the IT Industry for Women in 2011? Lacklustre it Seems

My favourite network for women working in IT teamed up with Intellect’s Women in IT Forum to survey women in the industry on how they felt about women’s progress  in the technology profession. This was a follow up from an initial survey in 2007, and unfortunately, there wasn’t a good deal of change to brag about.

The full report which can be downloaded here reported “ The tech industry has failed to remove the glass ceiling. A long hours and macho culture still exists. Whilst the technology sector rated highly in the provision of progressive employment policies and facilities, the survey revealed a fear amongst women that taking up the options of part time or flexible working would be detrimental to their careers as highlighted by one respondent who said: “The company offers some flexibility but women taking up options of part time and flex type working undoubtedly suffer in the promotion stakes. They simply don’t get recognition.”

Worryingly, over 60% of respondents have over a decade of experience and yet only just over a quarter ( 26%) have reached senior management level with many feeling that they are being passed over for promotion in favour of male colleagues. In fact over a third of respondents said they had left their last position due to a lack of internal promotion.

Is HR helping or hindering these women who want to progress?

Findings from the new survey also concluded that HR rates poorly in supporting women in the IT sector. Only 36% rated HR departments as good or excellent – 3% down from the 2007 figure. This compares poorly with other groups such as line management (47%); direct boss (55%); colleagues (60%) and juniors (47%). Worryingly, over a quarter of respondents (27%) rated HR departments’ support as ‘poor’ or non-existent.

Commenting on the results, Maggie Berry, Managing Director of Women in Technology said: “Breaking the glass ceiling is not about promoting gender equality for its own sake. There is an absolute business case – women are not a minority in a highly qualified tech talent pool and research from McKinsey & Co in 2007 clearly showed that organisations with strong female representation at top management and board level perform better than those without. It’s disappointing to still be having to have this debate in 2011!”

If Men in Top Jobs Determine Pay – Is the Pay Gap any Surprise?

Research carried out recently by Manchester law firm Pannone found that almost one-third of the 100 north-west HR directors and managers surveyed, believed the biggest reason for the gender pay gap is down to men in top roles who determine salaries and subject measures such as bonuses and when to grant pay rises, Women in Technology. The research found that 84% of respondents said unequal pay was a problem among private businesses. The news comes at a time when the Fawcett Society, UNISON, the TUC and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have published a report examining ways to enforce equal pay. A key recommendation from the group is the implementation of the new Equality Act in full so that employers become more transparent on pay rates for women and men. The group came together on November 2nd – the day when women effectively stop getting paid for the year in comparison to men. It seems that we need more women in management and senior roles to ensure equal pay – of course we all know that getting the pay you deserve can be an uphill battle.

Is ‘Barbie: Computer Engineer’ A Good Role Model For Women In IT?

I’m all for giving young girls more role models, but can’t we do it in a less pneumatically enhanced package? It sends the wrong message – one that says, “yes, girls you too can have it all – the career and the brains as long as you don’t forget to be pert and lovely every step of the way!” The professional women I work with as an executive coach already have enough of that baggage to shed throughout their lives – they don’t need the expectation to “do it all – if you can keep up the flawless package” rammed down their throats any earlier in their childhood. I say this because Barbie, the toy doll that is a perennial favourite among girls, has been assigned a new career – computer engineer. I agree with the sentiments of Karen Petrie, a computing lecturer at the University of Dundee who said: “We want girls to consider [IT] as a career, and not be turned off by the image… of a spotty boy sitting in the corner, unable to hold a conversation.” However, it isn’t a doll that will encourage more women into this traditionally male dominated field but more women who are making real advances in their IT careers  – and getting the flexibility they need to do that.

Will Computer Engineer Barbie Help Girls Get Their “Geek On”?

Woman-with-computer A funny thing happened when Mattel asked for votes for the next ‘career’ for Barbie. They gave a choice of architect, anchorwoman, computer engineer, environmentalist and surgeon and in all over 600,000 votes were cast. Initially anchorwoman came out top. The voting was open to anyone but you could only vote once and towards the end of the first week Mattel realised that they were receiving a large number of votes from female computer engineers who launched a viral campaign on the internet.  In the end as Mattel puts it ‘computer engineer Barbie won the popular vote’.The way Mattel made online polling as to the identity of the next “aspirational” career Barbie open to everyone played to the strengths of women in IT and enabled women in the industry to mobilise at a very grassroots level.…which is actually a cool thing. There is something most working women can identify with, as I don’t know a single woman who didn’t have at least one Barbie growing up – and is not pestered to buy one for the little girls in her life – despite her internal feminist protestations! Now if we could only mobilise so quickly on some of the bigger issues like equal pay, flexible working and the falling numbers of women receiving degrees in the field despite the ubiquity of technology in everyday life. I’m all for raising the profile of IT careers for the next generation of working women, but I don’t think an IT Barbie could be considered progress as long as she sports her humanly impossible measurements and feet that can only be crammed into tiny high heels.

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