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The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

Hey, there!

In class, at workshops, at coffee dates – I hear it all the time.

“I hate computers.”

“I’m tech illiterate.”

“My laptop and I don’t get along.”

And far more often than not, I hear it from my female clients and students. Apparently, it’s not just me.

How can I help close the digital divide between the sexes?

I’ve been talking for a while now about my new definition of a triple threat actor. It used to be actor/singer/dancer, but the changes in the marketplace, the advent of the Internet, and the very fabric of our acting and VO lives has been woven with a different warp and weave; the new definition to me is actor/marketer/technologist – and if you don’t have expertise in all three, you’re going to rapidly find yourself left behind, scratching your head, wondering why you’re not getting booked.

And frankly, it’s far worse for women. Not just in my client base, but around the world.

I want to change that.

I teach marketing and technology as an integrated part of every class I hold. When I see something that can give you an advantage, I report on it, I work it into my instruction, and I encourage you to act on it.

Case in point, the classes I teach on ACX.com. You need all three skills to be good at working that site.

And the first step to getting better is knowing the facts. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has authored a special report called Digital Literacy for Women & Girls. The report itself was funded by AT&T, and covers things like digital literacy initiatives, how organizations are engaging girls with digital content in the classroom and at home, an examination of the technological landscape and upcoming digital breakthroughs, how women are making both personal and professional connections through social media, and more.

Here’s the report:

http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Digital-Inclusion/Women-and-Girls/Pages/Digital-Literacy.aspx

And if I can help you in any way (woman or not), please let me know. Your digital literacy is now, whether you like it or not, the very foundation of your VO career’s success.

Hope this helps.

David

7 Responses to The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

  1. Theresa Mignonne Daniels December 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    David!
    It is as if you wrote this article directly for me. I just got feedback from a casting director regarding an audition I submitted from home for a promo spot. He said my acting was on target, but my editing was not acceptable and I need to run to somebody else’s studio to rerecord and resubmit ASAP! The good thing is that I am at least aware that my technical skills need work and I am working towards improving them. This is a great message for all women! Get tech savvy or you will be left behind! Well, I’m off to Garden of Sound Studio…..

  2. Todd Cattell December 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    I happen to be male but fascinating stuff nonetheless David. I will definitely be taking you up on your offer to “help in any way (woman or not)” with my digital literacy.
    Best,
    Todd

  3. Allen Logue June 29, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    Hi David. Thanks for the amazing content on vo2gogo.com. It’s world-class stuff.

    While I’ve got several technical certifications (CCNA, Network Plus, IC3, etc.), they don’t help me a lot in the studio. Getting a better understanding of how to use plugins more effectively like de-essers, declickers, limiters, pass filters, gates, and EQ is what would be a big boost in my VO career.

  4. Ilona Stone June 29, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Thank you for this post, David. I second Theresa’s comment — It seems as if this article was written directly for me too. Becoming tech savvy is by far my biggest challenge. I’m spending hours upon hours practicing, and running into one glitch after another. I hardly get a lather going, let alone the rinse and repeat. How I would love to be free to simply offer my voice talent, without having to be a sound engineer as well!
    Oh well…..Onward……!

  5. Shelley Stephen June 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    There is also a flip side to this. People tend to expect women to be less tech saavy. As a female who is very tech saavy, it’s darn irritating for people to assume that. It sets a low expectation which doesn’t help anyone female. So yes, we have to raise the technology knowledge and comfort for most women. We also need to get the message across to the majority that there is no gender barrier to being tech saavy.

    • David H. Lawrence XVII June 29, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

      Understood. But, to be clear, this particular report was put together by a woman’s organization, The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, so I doubt they were casting aspersions as an expression of tech sexism.

  6. Pat Crosswhite July 11, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    The Digital Literacy story on the website has a link at the bottom that…doesn’t work. I had to smile.

    Very pertinent post and exactly what I’m working on this summer: upping my technical game. Ilona Stone, I can relate! I’m used to letting an engineer take care of the tech while I focus on the performance. While that still happens sometimes, self-producing is more and more the norm. Many, many thanks, David for your wisdom and practicality in bringing us up to speed.

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