The state of digitization of healthcare delivery globally is quite uneven, spotted with patches of excellence and falling well short in others. Digitally administered medicine is yet to reach corners of the world where its need is the greatest. Our study spanning 46 countries, where we overlaid our measures of digitalization and healthcare capacity, reveals sweet spots for virtualized healthcare and how countries lagging in critical healthcare infrastructure can leapfrog by deploying digital mechanisms to provide quality healthcare to their masses.
For Pride Month, Digital Planet investigates the degree to which LGBTQ+ community finds solidarity among STEM fields. Analysis reveals the share of workers who express their identity as or affiliation with the LGBTQ+ community on their resumes is smaller among STEM graduates than college graduates overall. Women in STEM were twice as likely as men to profess an affiliation with the gay community on their resumes. Younger STEM candidates display a higher rate of LGBTQ+ affiliation than their older colleagues but still significantly trailed younger college graduates overall.
Given the pandemic induced changes in the way companies are recruiting talent and organizing around remote and hybrid work and the movement of talent away from the traditional major hubs, how can we seize this moment as an unprecedented opportunity to improve the representation of under-represented talent (e.g. Black, Hispanic, female) in the high skilled workforce sought after by tech and bio-medical companies? How can organizations locate these diverse talent pools in the major metro areas across the United States?
Pandemic-induced work-from-home policies—now slated to be in place for most of 2021, if not indefinitely—could serve as a catalyst for the tech industry to narrow its growing regional and demographic disparity; allowing more cities and demographics to contribute to and prosper from the industry’s economic growth potential. We examined this issue using metrics such as digital readiness, cost of living, and diversity of tech talent pools for a group of states and major cities in the US to assess whether pandemic-induced work-from-home policies could offer the industry an inclusive growth path forward.
The pandemic’s evolution and states’ varying policy responses have shown that digitally ready states benefited from both a labor force that could socially distance and work from home, as well as one that could support the delivery of essential services in such a scenario through the availability of gig workers. These past months have demonstrated the gig economy’s increasing importance in providing essential services to communities, while also highlighting the inherent disparities and vulnerabilities experienced by gig workers.
The two major political parties in the United States are in an all-out sprint leading up to the presidential election. Neither has had a shortage of digital mediums to amplify their views to the public. The American public’s increased reliance on social media as a source of news is worrisome because of the propensity of these platforms to spread misinformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this trend, tethering people ever more to their personal electronic devices and fostering a boom of both digital crime and misinformation.
In the US, women make 82¢ for every man’s $1––a significant disparity that is exacerbated by factors like race and education. As the pandemic rages on, women are bearing the brunt if it on multiple levels: 1) as essential workers on the frontlines; 2) being over-represented in occupations that are not conducive to working from home, and losing jobs crucial to their economic stability; and 3) being under-represented in jobs that could shift to a digital medium, and all this while paying the price of chronic pay gaps and an unequal division of household labor.
While contingents push to re-open, states have begun to reverse course as the virus surges to new heights. States with better digital readiness possess the capacity to endure longer periods of lockdowns, and those continuing to observe strict social distancing measures are better prepared to arrest COVID-19 transmission.
Pre-existing racial disparities in unemployment, digital access, and financial resilience have been exacerbated in COVID-19’s wake. Black communities have been disproportionately impacted––in mortality, morbidity, unemployment, and financial losses. As governments and businesses prepare to navigate the economic and public health repercussions of the pandemic, it is crucial to account for these extant inequalities to ensure inclusive recovery.
Having robust digital platforms are key for business and public services continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Kentucky and Washington both witnessed over a third of their workforce file for unemployment between March and mid-May, the latter state is better equipped to: 1) allow its employed workforce to work from home with low disruption; 2) enable unemployed workers to potentially shift to work that allows them to work from home; and most importantly, 3) support unemployed workers in their search for jobs and to seamlessly file for unemployment insurance online.