How To Create An Inclusive Digital Economy?
With the combination of mobile internet and low computing cost, theoretically, everyone can go digital and engage in different online activities. The wide availability of digital technology in a country can ensure economic and social inclusion. However, digital technology is a double-edged sword. Even though it can promote economic growth in a country, at the same time, it can also widen inequality. Everything narrows down to the availability and reliability of digital technology.
Digital inclusion ensures everyone benefits from the internet and technology, regardless of income or background. However, marginalized people can face more disadvantages if they are not included in the digital economy. Now that we know why an inclusive digital economy is crucial, let us look at ways through which different stakeholders can work towards creating an inclusive digital economy.
Strong Digital Infrastructure
It is possible to ensure inclusive digital technology when the infrastructure has a solid foundation. Unfortunately, internet speed in many developing countries is still low. One can use Speed Test to understand the internet speed difference between developing and developed nations. The expensive internet connection further creates an additional problem. Rural areas across the world still lag in internet accessibility and speed. Therefore, government and private organizations should jointly work to create a strong base for digital infrastructure in the country.
Diversity In Jobs
Many tech giants across the globe pledge diversity in the firm, but the reality is far from the truth. Organizations should actively work towards ensuring diversification in the company. It is especially true for digital firms. Diversification within an organization deconstructs the barrier between the wealthy and poor populations. Therefore, companies should pay extra attention to supporting the marginalized group while working on the diversification process.
Digital Skills And Literacy Improvement
Digital technology is drastically changing the type of work. In addition, the new digital economy brings new job opportunities within itself. Consequently, ensuring that the population has the necessary digital skills and literacy to participate in the digital workforce is crucial. Furthermore, it is expected that digital technology will replace many low-skilled jobs. Therefore, imparting digital literacy is all the more critical now.
Government and education institutions are crucial in improving digital skills and literacy. However, a robust digital infrastructure and a strengthened educational system are necessary. People with good internet speed, verifiable on BSNL, can also learn digital skills online and equip themselves.
Local Talent Hiring
Many organizations have a big talent pool right before them in the form of the local population. However, to hire local people, companies should change the screening pattern for employability. For example, making a bachelor’s degree mandatory for a specification job automatically wipes out opportunities for many. Therefore, it is high time companies give more weightage to skills than educational degrees. Furthermore, the first search should begin with local talent.
The digital economy is fuelling the rise of the gig or informal economy. The primary advantage of the gig economy is that the employees enjoy certain flexibility while working. However, at the same time, it comes with the disadvantage that gig workers neither have jobs nor income security. In such a scenario, it is essential to ensure inclusivity in the digital economy to have policies that can protect the new type of workers.
A considerable investment in workforce development can help a region to walk towards an inclusive digital economy. Organizations can conduct training and workshops for workforce development. Workforce development ensures the preparation of the current labor market for future digital transformation, which can change the economic landscape.
Regional and Global Economic Policy Cooperation
Almost all countries are facing the problem of the digital divide. Consequently, regional and global economic policy cooperation can do wonders to ensure inclusivity in the digital economy. Different international and national stakeholders must come together to design effective national operations to ensure digital inclusivity.
Other benefits of inclusivity in the digital economy include opportunities for the disabled, digital entrepreneurship, employment boost and health management. In addition, digital inclusion ensures that all community members explore all potential and dimensions of digital technologies. In the information age, it is now a make-or-break effect for different aspects.
In addition to the internet, it is also vital to ensure the availability of hardware and software to support digital inclusion. The impact of inclusion in the digital economy is highly favorable for the growth of a country in many sectors.