From Fear to Confidence

The Digital Skills Journey of Underserved Women


As a Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund Fellow, EveryoneOn CEO Norma E. Fernandez examined the digital adoption journeys of low-income Black/African American and Latina women.

Through in-depth interviews and surveys with Latina and Black/African American women in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee, Fernandez sets out to understand:

  • What factors drive low-income African American/Black and Latina women to adopt broadband and learn digital skills?
  • What facilitates and/or hinders their ability to connect to the internet and participate in digital skills trainings?
  • What does it mean to them when they are connected and equipped with the skills needed to navigate our digital society and economy?

She finds not just the practical barriers to and benefits of digital skills training, but also profound personal transformation and self-empowerment.

This research can help state and local agencies as they develop broadband deployment and digital equity plans, ensuring these initiatives are inclusive and responsive to the needs of diverse populations.


Related Links

Read a brief summary of the report in English or Spanish

Webinar Recording

On April 9th, Norma E. Fernandez presented her research on the digital adoption journeys of low-income Black/African American and Latina women.

In a panel moderated by Dr. Revati Prasad, Vice-President of Programs at the Benton Institute of Broadband & Society, Fernandez was joined by Maria B. Chaparro and Aneta Thomas Lee. By centering the voices and experiences of often overlooked groups, their discussion offered actionable insights for states, local agencies, and digital equity practitioners to improve digital inclusion efforts for women.

Watch on YouTube


About the Author

EveryoneOn CEO Norma E. Fernandez has spent the past 12 years fostering digital equity. EveryoneOn is a national digital inclusion organization that since 2012 has connected over 1 million people to affordable high-speed internet, distributed over 6,000 devices, and trained over 4,500 people in digital skills in the last three years.