Today, the numbers of men and women using the Web remain closely aligned, but according to comScore's June 2010 report, Women on the Web, How Women are Shaping the Internet, the sexes approach and engage the Internet very differently. Paying attention is the bridge to creating viable products and success for our businesses, or walking the plank to failure.
If white, American males—who have been raised on quest and conquer values—believe they direct the Internet's future, perhaps a quick review of the statistics would be advised. Today, Internet usage is growing exponentially in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, with Asia leading as the largest majority of users (World Internet Usage).
That doesn't sound white or American.
This isn't a new frontier you can conquer and cast into a model based on United States' standards and ideals. This is an Eastern ocean running at high tide and American culture is not an adequate boat to float us gently into the future. We need to be aggressively learning and embracing other philosophies and customs, and stop pretending everyone is like us, or debasing them when they are not.
American businesses need to acknowledge both sexes have value in the Internet venue and in the company. And what would that value look like if it were practiced? Let's start with equal pay. And once we figure out how to value the people resources in the office, we need to broaden our global perspective to survive. The world around us is moving fast and we're going to have to row hard to keep up.
Do you think we're global enough? It takes effort. We'll know we're truly global when we've cultivated a greater world perspective, when we see more color in media entertainment: Asian, Indian, South American, Black. We'll be more global when we work side-by-side as equals.
"Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, you cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation." ~ Plato, classical Greek philosopher, (428 B.C.-348 B.C.).
Let's cultivate the world and the best it has to offer and honor the best in our own businesses, male and female.
There is a greater world out there. I've seen it.
I've been to Asia. Have you?
Download the white paper: Women on the Web, How Women are Shaping the Internet