Internet Skills and Gender

An article from Popular Science: women think they are less able to use the Internet than men.

The study, co-authored by researchers from Northwestern and Princeton universities, identified several trends in Internet adeptness that made perfect sense (younger users were better than older ones; more educated trumped less educated). But because the Internet is a relatively new tool, researchers hypothesized that men and women would be equally skilled surfers.

Not so, their study shows. True, women and men are on an equal playing field in terms of skills. But when asked to rate themselves, women consistently stated that they were less able than men. At the same time, men as a group rated their skills significantly higher than women’s.

This perception is a killer in the library field, and not just for women. No one benefits when a stereotype like this develops in a society.

Women out there! You know as much as the men do about technology (especially Web 2.0). Don’t let self-doubt hold you back.

Men out there! Don’t underestimate your female colleagues to the point that it keeps them down. Make some room at the tech table thankyouverymuch!

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