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.

For any questions, please contact the group moderator Lize De Clercq.

Members: 25
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.


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:

Group Discussions

Breaking stereotypes with Alja Isakovic: Women in tech

Posted by Ilona Griniute Dec 4, 2015 0 Replies

Dear all,Recently I've interviewed Alja Isakovic from Slovenia: she is a geek, tech blogger, start-up mentor, co-founder of Europe Code Week, coding workshops organizer, and a woman who dreams of seeing other women in tech. Some of the key takeaways:Technology is a tool worth learning, regardless of gender - to foster curiosity and creativityIt’s been proven that businesses with greater gender and ethnic diversity perform betterSchools will need to prepare students for jobs that might not even exist yetCommunities like Rails Girls and Django Girls are very helpful for raising awareness and evoking discussionsHope you will enjoy reading it!

Tags: Alja Isakovic, interview, technology, gender stereotypes, women in tech

The Code To Change Program to empower women

Posted by Ilona Griniute Oct 6, 2015 0 Replies

Dear all,I've come across one mentoring initiative 'The Code To Change Program 2015,' which aims to bridge the e-skills gap in the technology sector through coding and other digital skills training for women. They are organising the e-skills bootcamp (15, 16 October) and a one day conference (17th October) in Amsterdam during the European Code Week. They are looking for mentors, speakers and anyone interested in a slot for a workshop on digital skills for beginners. They are also looking for strategic partners, for both short-term (events) and long-term (projects) activities, who support women’s economic empowerment, diversity and inclusion in the IT sector and are committed to invest in women. Please find more details in the attachment. Contact email: info@chunrichoupaal.orgBest,IlonaContinue

Comment Wall

Comment by Lize De Clercq on December 4, 2013 at 19:00

My job:
I am Online Communications consultant at Eclectic Lines.

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

During 2003-2007 I have been working for Interface3 as a Digital Journalist and Web Content Manager for, a Belgian Gender & ICT awareness campaign.

Why I decided to join this working group:

I am contracted by Interface3 to manage this working group, both through the moderation of this online space as for the organization of the launch session in Malta and a series of upcoming live online meetings.
How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:

Together with Laurence LeseigneurElena Lanzoni from Interface3, we are the main responsibles for achieving all the group goals. My role mainly consists in researching and redacting all findings and in facilitating the discussion among the group members by asking specific members for their intervention, by pointing to available resources and by resuming the group's proceedings in the Summary box.

Comment by Laurence Leseigneur on January 21, 2014 at 11:49

My job:

I am Training Coordinator and trainer at Interface3. I coordinate all the educational and administrative aspects of a new training programme at Interface3 - Bilingual (FR-EN) Import-export assistant. I also teach MS office suite programmes (with a strong preference for Excel), marketing and web marketing. Last but not least, I take part into the UniteIT project dedicated to fight digital divide.


My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

Being confronted in my daily job with that issue, I wish to contribute with my (small) experience and most of all learn about this topic with other women involved in that “mission”.


Why I decided to join this working group:

Interface3 being involved in the UniteIT project, I decided to join that group as I work in an environment which confront the topic every day. I strongly believe that we can contribute to raise awareness on the various actions in European countries. Sharing experiences or best practices is the best way to activate the network.


How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:

I am willing to stimulate dialog or exchanges between members and to launch discussions on this topic.


Comment by Elena lanzoni on January 22, 2014 at 18:25
My job:
I am responsable of communication and relationships with companies at Interface3and before for the Ada project. In other words, I am in charge of promoting trainings leading to ICT professions among women seeking a new job and of promoting ICT female professionals among employers of ICT companies!

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:
I am convinced that there is still a real gender issue related to the study and professional orientation among young people. Even if we sometimes feel that feminism has solved such problems, even if access to scientific and technical studies is no problem for women… in theory, gender stereotypes and differentiated education for girls and boys have as a consequence that women are depriving themselves of a series of career opportunities in one of the most crucial sector in the world today: ICT.

Why I decided to join this working group:
Interface 3 decided to create this working group because we believe that telecentres have a role to play in the problematic of gender and ICT. Nowadays, in Europe, for many Europeans a telecentre is still the first point of contact with the world of ICT, a place where one can discover these technologies, learn to use them and get a clearer picture of them. It is therefore important to raise facilitators’ awareness about gender issues and allow them to provide information and training without repeating or amplifying gender stereotypes related to ICT. And, by the way, I love ICT (actually, I love coding) and I think it's such a pity that girls don't even try it once!

How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group
I am convinced that working with others is essential for progress! I think Interface3 has experience to share with other training centers and telecentres but also so much to learn from the experience of other members. Time, energy and sharing will be, I think, the key to success!
Comment by Gabriela Ruseva on May 2, 2014 at 14:48

Hi All,

my name is Gabriela, and here is my presentation:

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:
I have no particular experience regarding Gender and ICT.
Why I decided to join this working group: 
I will help for the overall implementation and coordination of the project UniteIT. 
How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group: 
I would like to be involved and be able to follow the four thematic working groups and to help keeping them alive, as much as I can. 
Looking forward to interesting and fruitful discussions in the group!
Comment by Telecentre Europe Comms Manager on May 5, 2014 at 14:30

My job:

Hi, my job is communication manager at Telecentre Europe- the organisation that leads this UNITE IT portal. I also do community managment for this site. 

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

I don't have first hand experience but am very interested to learn. I find it fascinating that women are not represented in the ICT sector. I am interested to learn why this is although I have my own ideas as well! I personally prefer not to get too deep into ICT issues myself and would like to know what motivateswomen like me, to really learn the specifics of programming for example. 

Why I decided to join this working group: 
Curiosity on the discussions that may arise.
How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:
I could identify and interview certain changemakers in this doman 
Comment by Ilona Griniute on May 6, 2014 at 13:12

Hi all,

My job:

I'm a Communications Assistant at Telecentre Europe, and also I do community management for Unite IT portal.

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

I don't have experience on this topic up to now.

Why I decided to join this working group: 
Having read many interesting sources that unfortunately prove women need to be more involved in ICT, I find it important to keep myself updated.
How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:
I'm happy to participate in the following discussions, share the information I come across regarding the topic as well as spread the word about the current state on our other communication channels when needed.
Comment by Gordana Stankov on June 11, 2014 at 14:29

My job:

I am a Programme Manager at IAN Telecentar, Education Department of International Aid Network, a local civil society organization in Serbia.

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

IAN Telecentar has always been paying special attention to professional empowerment of women and their motivation to access digital technologies. Throughout our years of work comprehensive training programs tailored for empowerment of vulnerable groups of women (single mothers, victims of violence and trafficking, long term unemployed) have been created. I have been involved in design and implementation of a series of such projects and I am eager to learn more from other organisations and people focused on the same goal.

 Why I decided to join this working group:

As IAN is involved in the UniteIT project, I have decided to join this group as our organization has been engaged in providing digital literacy programs to vulnerable women. Promoting empowerment of women through technology can contribute to improvement of women position in the society in general and I believe that through sharing good practices related to this field is valuable for our work.

 How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:

I am willing to share the experiences of my organisation in the field of women empowerment, participate in discussions and possibly in developing joint initiatives. 

Comment by Gabi Barna on June 13, 2014 at 13:54

My job:

I am the Director of Fundatia EOS - Educating for an Open Society in Romania, a non-profit non-governmental organisation which is working on delivering einclusion in Romania.

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

Part of my work at EOS is focused on the K-12 sector of education (pre-University) and trening teachers in the use of ICT across the curriculum. In Romania there is stil a tendency to think that ICT is mostly for boys, so we believe it iscritical to work with teachers (80% of whom are women) to become good role models for girls and articulate the right messages in that Technology is for everybody.

 Why I decided to join this working group:

I would like to learn from other colleagues about how best to tackle this issue and take the most relevant actions and ideas back into implementation in Romania.

 How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:

I will contribute with our experience from Romania and would very much support the development of a joint project that will give me the financial means to take good ideas from colleagues into Romania.

Comment by Elzbieta Dydak on June 18, 2014 at 21:42

My job:

Hi, I’m the chief project specialist at the Information Society Development Foundation (FRSI), Poland

My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:

I have no particular experience regarding Gender and ICT.

 Why I decided to join this working group: 

FRSI has no organizational experience regarding this field. As we would like to encourage girls to use modern technologies and show them potential of jobs related to ICT, we welcome all best practices how to do that.

How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group: 

Active listening, asking questions, piloting new solutions & methods if useful; sharing FRSI experience from other fields of activity

Comment by Iva Walterova on June 23, 2014 at 9:33

My job: I am a Projects and Communications Consultant at EPMA (European Projects and Management Agency). I also occassionaly provide inhouse experting services to Czech public authorities, including the Vysocina Regional Authority or the Pilsen Regional Authority.
My motivation and/or experience regarding Gender & ICT:
Gender has always been one of my professional interests. I studied women’s development during my M.A. studies and have been returning to gender issues from different perspectives thereafter. Having been involved in ICT projects for nearly 5 years now, I have been concentrating particularly on their aspects related to social equality, regional development, sustainable development etc. Issues surrounding ICT and gender are an important aspect of inclusive and sustainable development and therefore are among my main professional interests.
Why I decided to join this working group:
ICTs are quickly becoming a major part of our everyday lives. They are essential for inclusion and development individual level as well as for growth in terms of the economy. If half of the population does not have equal access, rights, knowledge or is hindered in any other way in terms of skills or reach to ICTs, we cannot claim to live in equal and developed society.
How I commit myself to contribute in achieving the goals of this group:
I am eager to participate in activities of this group including discussions, webinars, and hopefully occasional meetings. I am happy to share my knowledge and perspectives and learn from others. I hope that this collaboration will eventually lead to joint projects and initiatives in this very interesting and important area.

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