Information

Gender Equality

Welcome to the Gender Equality working group of UniteIT!

While Europe is facing an ever widening gap between e-skills and ICT-related employment opportunities, girls are still largely under-represented in computer studies.

This working group gathers Gender & ICT experts and ICT learning centre leaders willing to act as change makers in addressing the gender gap in ICT

The goals of this group are:

  1. Identify the current state of the gender gap in ICT in Europe
  2. Identify the barriers that result into this gender gap
  3. Identify best practices, strategies and promising programs that address those barriers
  4. Guide case-studies of ICT learning centres that want to take up action by replicating best practices
  5. Identify changemakers and formulate recommendations for change

Would you like to be part of the group?
Follow these steps

If you join the group, you will be asked to present yourself by writing some lines about 
your motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT, why you decided to join the group and how you will commit yourself to contribute in achieving the goals of the group.

As a group member, make sure that the discussions you add to the group discussions somehow relate to Gender & ICT issues in Europe.

Members: 31
Latest activity: Dec 4, 2015

Summary of Group Proceedings

Goal 1: Identify the current state of the gender gap in ICT in Europe

A first step in identifying the ICT gender gap in Europe was done during the first group discussion at the UniteIT conference in Malta on Oct 24, 2013:

  • eSkills: 15% more men than women appear to have higher computer skills then women (14% in the age group 16-24 and 16% in the age group 25-54)
  • Higher education: women represent only 23% of Europeans with a bachelor degree in fields related to ICT
  • Workforce: women represent only 15% of ICT specialist occupations

Goal 2: Identify the barriers that result in the gender gap

  • Barriers that withhold girls to study a career in IT:
    • Societal belief about computers as masculine
    • Gender stereotypes as societal norms
    • Stereotyped media representations
    • Absence of female role models
    • Lack of early experiences
    • Irrelevant curriculum of computer courses
    • Stereotype threat
    • Lack of understanding of what ICT jobs entail

Goal 3: Best practices, strategies & promising programs that address the barriers

  • Strategies to attract more girls into studying IT :
    • Increase knowledge about ICT jobs
    • Interrupt stereotypes
    • Improve the irrelevant curriculum of ICT at school
    • Actively recruit girls for computing courses
    • Expose to role models
    • Eliminate stereotype threat and unconscious bias

Goal 4: Guide case-studies of  ICT learning centres that want to take up action by replicating best practices

At the UniteIT conference in Malta, the group members agreed that ICT learning centres have a role to play in:

  • Training women for high computer & internet skills, as this is where a gender gap exists at the level of usage, both in the age group of 16-24 as in the age group of 25-54.
  • Training women for specific IT occupations such as IT Helpdesk Practitioner, Network Administrator, Webmaster or Webapplication Developer.
  • Addressing the barriers that prevent young girls from taking up a career as ICT specialists, as job security of the higher-level ICT jobs is evident and these are the jobs where the forecasted job vacancies are mainly situated.

Case-studies

The ICT learning projects of following organizations have been screened from a gender point of view during the first workgroup webinar on June 20, 2014:

 
 
 

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