Digital Divas -- Breaking the Tech Glass Ceiling: Microsoft Canada Survey

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A new Microsoft Canada Survey reveals a surprising shift in women’s attitudes towards technology.

The number of Canadian women online is at an all time high with 69 per cent having a computer in the home and 58 per cent connecting to the Internet at least once a week. These are just two indications that Canadian women are flexing their muscle in a realm long considered "men's" domain.

Canadian women are actively using their personal computer to make a difference in the way they go about their lives and perform daily tasks. Dispelling the myth that women shy away from technology, a new study from Microsoft Canada reveals how savvy women really are. The survey reports that more than 70 per cent of Canadian online women are not intimidated by computer technology and 95 per cent are not intimidated by the Internet.

In fact, women are spending significantly more time doing favourite activities now that they are online. The personal computer has become a key enabler, making it easier and more enjoyable to stay in touch with family and friends, share photos, play games, organize personal information, and swap recipes and craft ideas.

Like their male counterparts, women have embraced the benefits of the personal computer to help them navigate their busy lives. Here are some other interesting insights into how women view technology, based on the survey results:

Forget TV and that cup of java: When asked, more than one half of online women reported they would rather give up their televisions and coffee before handing over their computers.

All in the family: More than 80 per cent of online women agreed their whole family enjoys using the computer and over half stay in touch by sharing photos online and through email.

Just me and my PC: Almost half admitted that if they had to be stranded on a desert island they would want to take their computers with them before their cell phone, television or stereo system.

Staying connected: More than 90 per cent agreed computers and the Internet make communication with friends and family easier, faster and more frequent.

Creature comforts: Online women have a high comfort level with most PC applications, with more than 90 per cent saying they are most comfortable sending or receiving emails.

Life-long learning: Over three-quarters of online women are very interested in friendly, relevant online resources and communities for women. Sites such as Microsoft Home Magazine (http://www.microsoft.ca/home) offer easy to understand tips and tricks on how to enhance everyday life through technology.

Clearly, women have become a force to be reckoned with on the digital front -- debunking the myth that women are late adopters of technology.

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Monica Roddey
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