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Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s are leading the technology revolution

Article by Julie Tempest.

When I read the headline ‘Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech’, I gave out a little cheer.

One that grew louder when the article went on to say that despite ‘companies hamfisted, male-focused marketing efforts, women are the dominant users of a wide variety of new technologies’.

And the best part was the closing paragraph:

‘So it turns out if you want to find out what the future looks like, you should be asking women. And just before you think that means you should be asking 18-year-old women, it actually turns out the majority of technology users are women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. So if you wanted to know what the future looks like, those turn out to be the heaviest users of the most successful and most popular technologies on the planet as we speak.’

It’s music to my ears. And although I have nothing against young men, a lot of the young, and the not so young male tech types make me squirm at times with their sexist, condescending attitude to women using tech.

The inner workings of ‘tech’ isn’t my thing, but I know how to use quite a few devices and their programmes. There are times when how to use something isn’t clear and you have to ask. Beware asking a male techie. Often as not you’ll get a ‘don’t you worry your little head about it’ reply littered with geek-babble which means nothing and shows that whatever else they may know, they don’t know how to communicate.

Of course the Fab generation went to school at a time when the most revolutionary thing they were taught was the metric system – at my own high school even the typewriters were locked away in a store cupboard. The headmistress felt resorting to a secretarial career wasn’t good enough for her girls.

So we Fab girls have adopted and adapted to the swift changes in tech throughout our working lives. And it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the 40-60 female demographic is the heaviest user of tech.

We’ve lived through the technological revolution

We’ve lived through the technological revolution and even if we haven’t been at the cutting edge of developing the new tech, we’ve been quick to see how it can make a difference to our busy lives.

I can’t think of a woman I know who doesn’t buy at least her boring groceries online. Why lug home washing powder, dishwasher tablets, toilet rolls and the like when they can be delivered to your door?

Others, me included, have become expert in online bargain shopping for homeware, clothes and even the clothes for the men in their lives.

The Fab generation was also quick to see the value of the Internet to launch their own businesses. Why risk a lot of money on renting an office, business rates & utilities when a simple but effective website & an email address can be all it takes to get going?

And we love to talk. And we talk about everything. That’s why we embraced Facebook and Twitter. And as we did that, we started to see the benefits of using these outlets as a business tool.

Now we have smart phones so we can shop, update social networks, upload photos to our business websites, organise the family calendar, make appointments, answer emails, etc etc, all while we’re having our nails done.

Gives a whole new meaning to Fab multi-tasking!

We (that’s us girls) use the Internet 17 per cent more than the guys. Not really surprising – after all you’re reading this online!

We lead in Internet usage, Mobile phone voice usage, Mobile phone location-based services, Text messaging, Skype, All Internet-enabled devices , E-readers, Health-care devices and GPS

Women over 40 lead in  social networking sites

We also lead in every social networking site aside from LinkedIn. That doesn’t surprise me as LinkedIn is the online version of swapping business cards at dry male-orientated networking meetings in their ‘Club’.

All we need now is for the advertisers to wake up and get rid of the sexist campaigns and realise the Fab pound is Queen of tech.

Full story http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/06/sorry-young-white-guy-youre-not-the-most-important-demographic-in-tech/258087/



Julie Tempest

Julie Tempest is a director of architects Blue Barnacles She is also a freelance writer - follow her on twitter @stormyjoolz

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  1. Judy

    July 10, 2014

    I had to ask permission from my Grammar School head teacher if I could attend night classes in typing at the local secondary modern in the 70’s. He wasn’t best pleased but agreed as I said it might come in useful one day! Now I can use my key board and read what I am typing at the same time and rarely make mistakes. I also use FB & Twitter for business as well as pleasure.

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