Applying a Racial Equity Lens to Digital Literacy

By Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, April 21, 2020

American jobs are undergoing massive technological transformation, with even entry-level workers now expected to use all manner of digital devices and equipment. Unfortunately, one-third of American workers lack digital skills needed to perform their jobs.  Workers of color are disproportionately affected by digital skill gaps compared to their white peers, in large part due to structural factors that are the product of longstanding inequities in American society, such as income and wealth gaps and uneven access to high-quality K-12 education.

We need to make sure workers of color have equitable opportunities to build in-demand digital skills. Applying a Racial Equity Lens to Digital Literacy analyzes the data around and reasons why workers of color are affected by digital skills gaps and offers solutions for policymakers that work with existing workforce and education legislation to help workers build skills and thrive in their jobs.

This fact sheet draws on U.S. data from a respected international assessment known as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Survey of Adult Skills, or PIAAC.