The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Female Activities: the Case of Greece
A Polydoropoulou, I N Lagoud, University of the Aegean, GR
Aim of this paper is to examine the level of usage of Information and Communication Technologies by women and identify their effect on the programming of their daily activities along with their career development.
The use of modern technology has assisted in the development and adaptation of new habits by individuals in their daily activities. Concepts like tele-working, tele-education, tele-shopping, etc. may lead to a reduction of mobility needs allowing people to organize and reprogram their activities the best way possible. The aim of this paper is to examine the level of usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by women and identify their effect on the programming of their daily activities (such as education, leisure, transactions, entertainment) along with their career development. Emphasis is given on the comparison between women that live in rural and less favoured areas in order to examine the differences in perceptions and attitudes towards new technologies.
We developed a personalized questionnaire designed to capture women?s decision making behaviour. This questionnaire is composed of five parts. In the first part respondents are asked questions relevant to their working conditions, tele-working activities, and factors influencing their career development. The second part includes questions relevant to their residential location characteristics and perceptions regarding the choice of residential location. In the third part women are asked to define the activities they do in a typical day (in a form of a time-use survey). These activities can be conducted at home or at an out-of-home location. For all activities the following information is collected: start and end time, usage of telephone, email, and Internet. If the activity is conducted out of home the modes of transport used and the trip duration are asked. In the fourth part their level of education along with their knowledge in computers and ICTS, and e-learning activities are identified. Stated preferences data is then collected using a number of scenarios describing future situations in order respondents to indicate the way they would conduct their activities. These future scenarios are described by four categories of characteristics. The first category relates to telecommunications including internet speed, internet installation cost, internet monthly cost, telephone cost and security. The second category relates to travel including urban and interurban travel time, pubic transport network coverage, intercity travel cost. The third category relates to tele-working including company encouragement to tele-work and company children support. Finally, the fourth category relates to government policies on setting up a new business including subsidies and tax free assurances. Under each future scenario respondents are asked how they would change their daily activities, working status and location of residence. Finally, in the last part personal details of the respondents are encapsulated.
The data collection methodology involves the collection of 600 questionnaires collected via personal interviews and Information Acceleration internet surveys. The sample has been selected from a number of different and diversified Greek provinces in order to assure representativeness of the population as possible.
Preliminary analysis of the data shows that women use modern technologies in their daily activities in a relatively low rate, when compared with other EU countries and USA. In both rural and less favored areas they prefer to use the traditional means of transport for their usual activities (work, children care, shopping, etc.). In suburban areas and islands this phenomenon is more evident due to the small familiarity with the use of computers. A significant result was the positive correlation between the level of salary, education and the use of modern technologies for activities such as e-banking and e-shopping. Another result is that companies seem to prefer the physical presence of women at the working environment since promotion of tele-working is still limited. Finally, the scenario analysis revealed a preference of literate in computers women to relocate to the suburbs and islands and entrepreneur to less favored areas when government subsidies are ?generous? and the cost of communications and travel are at reasonably low prices.
Further research involves the estimation of mixed logit models using the Stated Preferences data, to model women?s choices in terms of using ICTs and conduct tele-activities. These models will demonstrate complementarity and substitution effects between activities conducted via e-mode versus the traditional mode.
Association for European Transport