Male and female skills no longer exist, research shows
AMSTERDAM, October 7, 2021, 06:00 am CEST – Traditional differences between male and female skills are disappearing. This is seen in the results of a survey of 1,065 Dutch employees, conducted by Lepaya. For example, the difference between the male and female respondents who consider themselves tech-savvy is only three percentage points. In addition, men score themselves equally for soft skills, which are often regarded as typical feminine competences, such as communication skills.
Although stereotypical skills differences in the workplace seem to be coming to an end, gaps in certain areas are still noticeable. More than half of the female respondents (55%) feel that their leadership skills (such as conducting difficult conversations) are still inadequate. Among men, this is just 47%.
According to René Janssen, founder of Lepaya, the times of gender differences are over: “Due to the digitization of the labour market, the same skills, both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills,will be relevant for everyone. Binary lines are fading, stereotyping will disappear and skills will be leading, not degrees”
The generation gap
In the annual Lepaya Skills Monitor, employees of all ages rate themselves on eight future-proof skills. The differences between the various age levels are remarkable this year. Strangely enough, the first generation of digital natives seems to be the least digitally skilled. Only 19% of Gen Z respondents (born after 1996) have fully mastered analytical skills (such as handling IT and data), compared to over 35% of Millennials, 27% of Gen X and 21% of the oldest generation, the baby boomers.
Janssen: “Being born in a world in which the internet has become indispensable does not provide any guarantees for future success. Even digital natives need the right tools to effectively develop their digital skills.”
Remarkably, the youngest generation of respondents has also shown the least confidence in their ability to adapt. For example, 1 in 10 indicates that they are unable to cope with change. Besides, more than 39% of all Dutch employees score poorly on resilience.
The differences at the sector level are also remarkable. For example, respondents from the business services sector are more likely to be overly competent in IT skills (93%) than respondents who actually work in the IT sector (85%). Quite logical, says Janssen: “Every company is a tech company these days. Digital skills no longer only belong to the tech sector, but are paramount for every professional”.
About the Lepaya Skills Monitor
In the annual Lepaya Skills Monitor, employees rate themselves on the 8 skills needed to remain relevant in the labour market. In 2021, employees will score best on communication, analytical skills and eagerness to learn. The bottom of the list shows where there is still the most work to be done for the Dutch employees: presentation skills, leadership skills and diversity are the last ones.
You can find the full report here.
Lepaya is a provider of power skills training that combines online and offline learning. Founded by René Janssen and Peter Kuperus in 2018 from the conviction that the right training, at the right time, focused on the right skill, makes organizations more productive, Lepaya has trained thousands of employees.
As a challenger in a crowded training market, Lepaya responds to the needs of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies, such as Mollie, Takeaway and Picnic, among others. By combining hard skills with soft skills (offered together as power skills), the Amsterdam-based company is growing faster in a market in which the demand for retraining and further training continues to increase all over the world.
In 2020, Lepaya raised an investment of 5 million and independently acquired Smartenup, a training company that supports professionals to work better, faster and smarter with data. The scale-up focuses on the Dutch, British, Belgian, German and Swedish markets and serves its customers worldwide. This year, Lepaya was selected by Techleap.nl for the new generation of the growth program Rise, an exclusive program for serious tech players in the Netherlands.