This article examines current research on the digital skills crisis, focusing on the factors that contribute to digital exclusion. Through an analysis of current literature on the digital divide, the authors discuss the digital skills gaps, namely the exclusion of a sizeable part of the workforce from the digital market economy—women in particular. The gender imbalance in ICT and related sectors persists today, despite decades of equal opportunity policies, legislation and government initiatives. Women are still underrepresented and digitally excluded and efforts to attract, recruit and retain girls and women in ICT and STEM seem to be failing, reinforcing the gender participation gap, pay gap, and leadership gap. Inspiring girls and women into technology requires innovative approaches and raising the profile of our role models and female leaders. Engendering ICTs entails women’s agency. Accordingly, the authors conclude with advice–recommendations from three inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs who have made a difference.
Keywords: Digital Divide, Digital Exclusion, Gender Gaps, Skills Gap, Women Entrepreneurs, Leadership Gap, Digitalization, Digital Inequality, Digital Literacy, Gender Devaluation, Technology and Social Inclusion