Gender and Online Learning

In many countries over the past 10 years, mature (over age 40 years), single-parent, minority, and low-income women have become the largest group among adult learners. Increasing numbers of these women are studying online, and in some countries, females constitute the majority of online learners. In the United States at the turn of this century, 60% of the students studying online degree courses were women (Kramarae, 2001), most of whom were over age 25. – C. Latchem, Gender Issues in Online Learning*

Among DigitalCampus learners, the proportion of female learners to males – relative to the population – is also higher.

“There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.” W.E.B Du Bois

There are many reasons female learners choose online learning and DigitalCampus to upskill themselves. We list three of the most popular, based on feedback received from learners.

Saving time
Time is a scarce commodity for most of us these days. Working women are often juggling advancing their careers with family responsibilities. In South Africa, a significant number of working mothers are single moms, carrying the load of raising children on their own. This leaves little time available to attend lectures after a long work day. Online learning offers the perfect solution to the time-strapped individual who has a multitude of other commitments. We have received wonderful feedback from learners who found a new way to connect with their family, share the enjoyment of learning with their school-going children, while also being able to study with Wits University.

Safety is a concern for many women, and the reality is that there is a heightened consciousness about commuting alone at night. Even if it is a peripheral awareness, there’s often an automatic added stress to remain alert to potential danger.
DigitalCampus provides online short courses that allow you to study while you work and from the comfort of your home. No more driving to and from campus in the evening.

Cost savings
Many studies have shown that women don’t only have the wage gap to deal with; there’s a pink tax** added to this which further compounds gender disparity. Women’s products cost up to 18% more than men’s, and over a lifetime women can end up paying tens of thousands more than a man, while not necessarily having fewer financial commitments than their male counterparts.

Understandably women need their money to stretch further when looking for cost effective learning solutions. DigitalCampus courses provide value for money and online learning means no time spent out of the workplace (which comes with a cost whether it be an ironic short term negative impact on performance, or the cost to the business of having people out of the environment for days or weeks at a time). There are no additional study materials to purchase and there is no cost of travel.
DigitalCampus offers flexibility, accessibility, and supported learning that does not impact drastically on routine. Couple this with immediate workplace application and business impact, and the business case for women choosing this modality of learning underpins its popularity with aspirant female business professionals.


* Culture and Online Learning: Global Perspectives and Research by Colin Latchem. Edited by Insung Jung and Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena. Published by Stylus Publishing, LLC. 22883 Quicksilver Drive Sterling, Virginia 20166-2102. Copyright @2014 by Stylus Publishing, LLC. [] All rights reserved.