New standards launched to promote 'digital gender balance'
Organisations across the public, private and third sectors are being urged to review whether their digital output caters for both men and women as part of a world first certification programme launched in Scotland.
Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) has developed new Global Certification Standards for Digital Gender Balanced Platforms in an effort to encourage a “more inclusive digital presence”.
The programme, which claims to be the first of its kind worldwide, forms part of efforts to bolster the number of female entrepreneurs by ensuring online business support services work for both genders.
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Companies and organisations can undertake a six-step process, including a full audit of their digital presence plus training for staff creating content and interacting on social media platforms, in order to achieve certified status.
“Women are active users of digital platforms and no organisation can afford to fall short of meeting the needs of a significant customer base,” said WES chief executive Margaret Gibson.
“With the increasing use of digital platforms to deliver business support services, it is important that the content attracts and supports everyone who wishes to start up and grow their own business.
“We assessed a variety of digital platforms from a gender perspective and found unconscious bias and widespread content which was at odds with the overall organisation’s values and commitment to gender equality and balance.
“The findings compelled us to take action to address the imbalance and progress a more inclusive digital presence, which led to the development of new Global Certification Standards for Digital Gender Balanced Platforms.”
The standards were launched at a women’s entrepreneurship event in Brussels hosted by Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, Annabelle Ewing.
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