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Essay: Motivation in platform work differs between men and women

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  • Published: 9 April 2023*
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  • Words: 832 (approx)
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Digitalization offers a variety of opportunities for female empowerment and for a more equal female participation in labor markets, financial markets and entrepreneurship. Currently, digitization seems to favor the female labor force, since women face on average lower risk of being replaced by machines, as compared to men. Women’s often superior social skills represent a comparative advantage in the digital age, and this is particularly so when social skills are complemented with higher education and advanced digital literacy. (Krieger-Bolden, 2018)

Kalleberg, 2018 argues that the market for on demand digital work comes from the improvements of modern technologies that allowed firms to use digital platforms in organizations and firms redefining workers as independent contractors.

Raising awareness about platform work can attract more workers

Platform work has been divided into two parts (Davis 2016a,b; Kenney & Zysman 2016; Srnicek 2016). First is within the traditional economy when firms and companies start to digitize their business and other transactions with other businesses. With the advent of the computer and the world wide web, more businesses opted to have public facing websites with internally oriented information systems to do business transactions and functions. Second is beyond the traditional economies where companies use digital platforms not just to operate businesses but to create new ones such as retail, goods, machinery, and even service labor like Uber and Grab. The rise of social media such as Facebook and Instagram also became avenues for advertising, data sales and internet service.

As a result, over the last few decades, there have been seismic shifts in work and employment relations. The configuration, characteristics and cultural imagery of the standard employment relationship that emerged during the postwar era, exemplified by full-time work being replaced in favor of non-standard, highly casualised labor. As the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, concerns and anxieties about the future of work dominated by artificial intelligence and automation linger in the background amid the rise of the ubiquitous gig economy. Here, ‘work’ has seemingly been transfigured into ‘gigs’ or ‘tasks’ and workers have become ‘riders’ and ‘taskers’ (De Stefano, 2016).

ICT access and literacy should be improved and invested on, to increase participation in platform work

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has gone through innovations and transformed our society that has totally changed the way people think, work, and live (Gabe, 2007). As many countries geared towards having a “knowledge-society”, learning institutions, firms, and companies are expected to integrate ICT in their curriculums and daily functions. Rosnaini Mahmud and Mohd Arif (2008) define ICT integration as the process of determining where and how technology fits in the teaching and learning scenario. It is possible for everyone to enter the websites from everywhere at any time to use the free information by the internet. Worldwide research has shown that ICT can lead to improve students’ learning as well as better pedagogical practices. Ghavifekr & Yan Ran (2014) that ICT has the potential in gearing students towards the 21st century and globalization, this is because ICT can help them improve skills and widen their sources of information. Jones and Preece (2006) reported that both students and teachers need to learn to trust the technology for technological performance as well as enhance the uptake and reduce resistance to technology. Teachers need to be confident and competent in using various ICT tools to build their trust in the technology. Without teachers’ competency and mastery skills of ICT integration which is appropriate to their needs, ICT could not be put into good use for instructional delivery. In this regard, teachers should have a range of different technical and communication skills which include using chat rooms, word processing skills, web page authoring and using various kinds of ICT tools such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), compress and decompress of files, e.g., Win zip and so forth (Barker, 2002). As Grabe and Grabe (2007) suggested, before attempting to answer this question one must point out that in the current information society a country could choose to be an e-tiger (a country determined to take radical policy decisions to be a front runner), e-floater (a country trying to keep pace with the most dynamic countries), e-follower (a country that makes the best use of what reaches it in due course), or e-skeptic (a country which does not believe in the transformation and development potential of ICT and does not take any active step). So only the first two can stay networked. The best will receive residual e-fallout (willing in the case of e-follower and unwilling in the case of e-skeptic). Kozma and Anderson (2002) claim that ICTs are transforming schools and classrooms by bringing in new curricula based on real world problems, providing scaffolds and 17 tools to enhance learning, giving students and teachers more opportunities for feedback and reflection, and building local and global communities that include students, teachers, parents, practicing scientists, and other interested parties.

Similarly, Hepp et al. (2004) state that the roles ICTs play in the educational system can be pedagogical, cultural, social, professional and administrative.


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