ESG and Education Digital Divide and Digital Literacy

Digital Divide and Digital Literacy

Companies are increasingly dependent on consumers’ technological and digital literacy for their success. The digital transformation and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Web3, and others have pushed many organizations to embark on a digital transformation for both internal operations and customer engagements.

Access to mobile phones, broadband, and online learning has made it possible to share information and ideas, leading to new markets and consumers. The need for companies to build digital skills within their staff and customers has never been greater.

However, household access to the internet is still extremely limited in the poorest countries.

14% of U.S households with school-age children

do not have internet access

The COVID-19 pandemic forced entire countries to adopt remote learning methods and accelerated the digital divide, with only 34% of primary, 41% of secondary, and 68% of tertiary education students having access to an internet-connected computer at home in 2020.

With growing learning disparities and unequal access to technology and the internet, companies are expected to face market risks and higher costs associated with employee training, customer support, and a shrinking talent pool, specifically in “high-tech” and “green” industries.

16 million more workers needed

to meet the demand for efficient appliances, electric and fuel cell vehicles, and building retrofit industries

To avoid this reality, companies can leverage their expertise and resources to promote digital adaptation by offering educational programs and support to low-income and rural communities. By using educational institutions and schools as a focal point for promoting connectivity and digital inclusion, society benefits from digital inclusion in schools but also in commerce, with increased opportunities for consumers and markets to harness the benefits of technology for economic growth and participation in the workforce.

Other materiality issues linked to education

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