O2 Blue Door: The road ahead for the digital economy
Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, CBE, delivered the keynote address at the 2018 O2 Blue Door Conference.
Here are three pillars that she believes should underpin the digital economy over the coming years:
The UK can lead the world in technology, but it must start with a really deep sense of inclusivity. Technology can help tackle some of the country’s most pressing social issues, but only if we narrow the digital divide. At a time when 7.5% of adults have still never used the internet, we can’t afford to leave anyone behind.
“It’s unbelievable to me that that 96% of the world’s software engineers are men.”
We must encourage more women into the technology sector. In percentage terms, there are more women in the House of Lords than there are in technology, a sector that barely existed just 30 years ago.
We must recruit a different group of creators to fuel the digital economy for the decades ahead. This includes more women and people from different backgrounds and socio-economic groups.
A quarter of small business owners lack confidence in their basic digital skills, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Addressing this digital skills deficit would have a transformative effect on productivity growth in the UK.
“I have seen for myself how many of the people given digital skills training have gone on to set up digitally enabled small businesses of their own.”
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