Women in the knowledge economy

Laptop on desk, working from homeThe knowledge-based economy refers to systems that heavily depend on skilled workers to manage and use information to produce goods and services.

As individuals require specialised skills and knowledge to support the operations and running of companies in the private and public sectors, the most competitive capital of individuals is their know-how.

Due to the lockdown and the restrictions put in place in response to COVID-19, much of the business world was forced to close their offices, shops and services. However, many of them adapted to the changes for the better and transformed how they operate.

The home-office has become a standard practice, opening the gates to the virtual environment, impacting the way we work in teams, communicate and highlighting the importance of being part of the knowledge economy. That is, know-how to continue to create, promote and sell goods and services, run a business and lead its people, manage the IT systems and platforms that support the networks within a corporation, connect with customers and manage the data that flows through systems.

The knowledge economy is not bound to a place; it goes beyond physical borders and socio-economical boundaries and this means we can all be part of it, from our homes. For women, this is a particularly attractive option, because we can pursue a career without having to sacrifice other aspects of our lives – for example, we can work and start a family, or continue to support those who require our presence at home.

Although some industries are still dominated by men, job opportunities are also available to women under equal conditions; in fact, many companies encourage women to apply, as corporations understand the value of diversity in the workplace. Sometimes, the only thing stopping us from following our ambitions, is not having the necessary know-how – we must zoom in on the obstacles we find and explore ways of surpassing them. One alternative is to invest in our education and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the jobs market.

As with most organisations and companies, education providers across the globe also moved to the virtual field, and as a result, more choices are now open to all of us, not just in terms of the variety of the offers available, but also in the modes of study.

This means that if the choices are limited in our home country, we can reach beyond it and start a degree with a business school abroad; we can complete the programme on-campus in the city where the school is located, or continue from our home to be able to meet other obligations that demand our presence.

Moreover, in the boundaryless world of higher education, there are many programmes available and some are currently at the top of the list in the knowledge-based economy because they are based on the skills we need to understand how to promote companies in the virtual arena, such as innovation, strategy, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, data governance, digital sales, international marketing and brand management.

To understand how to go about this is the means to find alternatives and transform changes into opportunities. Be part of the network of women in business, both in your local community and internationally, set yourself new goals, reach beyond the boundaries and go further.

About the author

Dr Gabriela Whitehead, Head of Digital Transformation and Process Management at GISMA Business School

Gabriela joined the GISMA team in October 2019 as Head of Digital Transformation and Process Management. She works on data integration and decentralization to optimise the databases, systems and processes used across all departments and services at GISMA Germany.

Gabriela holds a PhD and an MSc in Communication, Media and Marketing with a specialisation in Employee International Mobility. Gabriela pursued both degrees as a remote student, while starting a family and relocating internationally several times.

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