2.7 million of people work in the ICT sector in Europe but only 20% are women. Meanwhile the ICT sector keeps growing and growing. 7.6% employment growth is forecasted by 2020, however 700000 vacancies might remain unfilled by 2015 because of the shrinking supply of ICT graduates.
Women have a bigger role to play in ICT:
- ICT offer dynamic, creative and flexible careers.
- More women in ICT will help solve the talent shortage.
- ICT can empower women with new career opportunities.
How can we get more women into ICT studies and careers?
Create European Girls in ICT Day
A European Girls in ICT Day that builds on the success of national level events could raise awareness of what an ICT career really is.
Champion the issue
Digital Champions should be encouraged to include gender balance as part of their mandate in promoting digital skills and undertake to work with industry, government and education systems to create a culture of gender equity in ICT.
Inspire European Youth
Young girls who may consider a career in ICT often lack strong female role models. Promoting inspiring role models that demonstrate the creativity, versatility and flexibility of the careers in ICT will help change the image of ICT for young girls.
Teach tech right
Teacher training should be adapted to ensure that teachers are equipped with the competences needed to use ICT in the classroom. Computer science should be taught by qualified teachers and should be included as core component of the school curriculum.
Fiscal incentives can be provided for companies that adapt gender equity measures. At a national level, incentives such as tax breaks or facilitating access to funding can provide a strong economic motivation for companies to expedite a more gender friendly corporate culture.