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November 1 2017

Poll: Most Women Love Tech but Only Half Think It’ll Improve Their Life

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Maybe it’s the wonder of Instagram filters or the ease of using Venmo to split up a dinner bill for a girls’ night out, but majorities of American women today think technology is good for society. That positive sentiment cools as women look ahead to the future.

An overwhelmingly majority of American women (82 percent) think that when U.S. technology companies succeed our economy does better according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll. Two out of three women heart technology and its effect on our society.

Although women are strongly positive toward tech, men are even more positive across all categories.

The genders start to diverge when projecting the impact of technology on the future.

Looking ahead ten years, half of women (51 percent) say technology will make life better for them and their family. That’s 13 points less than the 64 percent of men who say it will make life better. Almost a third of women (29 percent) think life will be no different despite technology.

How about the fears about robots and automation displacing workers? Over half of our population say technology will take away more jobs than it creates with women slightly edging out men (58 percent v. 51 percent).

Even more concerning, women are more supportive of Washington regulating major technology companies the way it regulates other utility companies than men.

This data about perceptions of technology come at serious times. Our nation is grappling with how automation and technology will transform industries and impact the U.S. workforce. Lawmakers, the private sector, and educational realms are considering what to do to prepare our workforce for inevitable changes.

Before giving in to gloom-and-doom predictions, let’s consider what technology has meant for women in the workplace and the home.

·         Apps give female entrepreneurs the power to start businesses from their smartphones and social media exposes them to customers who were once off limits to them.

·         Telemedicine connects nursing moms in rural areas to experts hundreds of miles away, who can coach them through the challenges of breastfeeding.

·         Subscription services deliver pre-packed meals to your door making cooking healthy, tasty meals accessible for those who don’t like to or can’t cook.

·         Video calls makes it possible for grandmothers who live continents away to see their grandchildren at any given moment.

We can’t ignore that technology will have impacts on the workplace, but the upside is encouraging. The eponymous tech we take for granted today either did not exist or was in its infancy a decade ago. Entirely new industries and jobs emerged in technology since then. The future holds much promise for women to look forward to.

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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