Women in India are motivated to succeed: Google Report
While Internet is part of daily life for millions of Indians, there is a big digital gender gap that exists in India today. Only 1/3rd of the total Internet population in India are women. Women who are not online, feel that they’re being left behind by technology, this was revealed in the findings of a study titled Women & technology conducted by Google, speaking to 828 women in India aged 18-55. The survey findings concluded that, Women in India are motivated to succeed for more than just themselves and see education and technology as key drivers for success. While majority of the respondents were not working, they’re driven and want their loved ones to advance with them and they don’t see their gender as a barrier.
The survey also looked at income and demographic differences between Internet users and non-users. Women who are online tend to have slightly higher incomes. Most are younger, single and still students. The non-users surveyed tend to be slightly older than women online and more likely to be married with children. 76% are full-time housewives. While many who aren’t online still had positive attitudes towards technology, users and non-users both shared fears of falling behind in a changing world.
The survey revealed that many India women don’t see what Internet can do for them and why they should get online. 49% of women don’t see any reason to access the Internet. 43% women are not interested in anything that is on the Internet and equally high percentage 42% don’t know how to do the things they want to do on the Internet. But younger women are keen to get online, and 32% of all non-internet user plan to use the Internet soon, and 46% of non-users in the age group 18-29 are likely to use the internet soon.
Speaking about the findings, Sandeep Menon, Country Head Marketing for Google India said, “While there is low awareness about the benefits of Internet amongst women in India, but there are many who want to get online to succeed in life. We’re working with various partners to help spread awareness about the benefits of being online amongst women. And today, we've launched a new film to inspire young digital natives to bring their mothers online. There are large number of educated women in India with internet access in their households, but they still do not use the internet. We are making an appeal to their children to hold their mom's hand as she discovers a new world online.
The main motivations for women to go online are easy access to Information, entertainment and communications. But barriers like connection issues, affordability and time are the key constraints — many of the respondents said managing their households left little time for what’s perceived to be a leisure activity.
The biggest barriers for Internet users are cost, connectivity and time. 44% Internet users said - Being able to afford to use the Internet as often as they would like. 40% want a more reliable Internet connection and 34% users said, they would use it more if they had more time on their hands. But for non-users, lack of interest is more of a barrier than cost.
Online privacy can be a key enabler and a motivator for women to get online. With an average of five people in every household, computers tend to be shared, not personal. Some women also feel judgement from their in-laws for spending too much time online. Smartphones and Internet cafes could be a cheaper, more private way for Indian women to access the Internet revealed the report. The respondents said, they would use the Internet more, if they had more privacy. 26% respondents said, they would use the Internet more if they had a smartphone or computer that they don't have to share with anyone else. 23% being able to go to a location or use a device to access the Internet would help them more. And 19% respondents said, they want to use the Internet in private without fear of surveillance or criticism.