European Commission to push for more women in ICT

21 Feb 2013

Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda

The European Commission (EC) will use results of a survey on why there is a lack of women in Europe’s ICT sector to develop policy and recommendations aimed to reverse this trend and encourage young people, women especially, to adopt an ICT-related career.

The EC expects results of the survey, conducted by DG Connect, to be published in June.  

“My motto, my dream, my bumper sticker is to get every European digital and my ambition is to get more women into ICT,” said Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.

Some 7m people work in the European digital sector, the Digital Agenda For Europe reports. That sector creates about 120,000 new jobs annually, but women only make up 30pc of the workforce, with many in junior roles. This is despite a projected deficit of 700,000 skilled workers by 2015.

“The ICT industry also needs to recognise and put at the top of their agenda the fact that female talent cannot be overlooked if European companies think seriously of innovation,” the EC said in a statement.

“We need to attract more women into ICT jobs in order to ensure equality of opportunities and empower them to participate fully in the information society.

“Women should shape the future world that new technologies will be transforming at a dizzying speed.”

The EC is co-organising, along with the European Parliament and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a Girls in ICT Day event to take place on 25 April in Brussels. The goal of the day is also to empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in ICT.

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, Silicon Republic launches Women Invent Tomorrow, a year-long campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Watch this space!

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic