The European Commission has published a new study on Women in Digital Age, which has been carried out by Iclaves in collaboration Milagros Sáinz, among other experts. The publication reports that there is a growing gap between men and women’s participation in the digital sector in education, career and entrepreneurship. Trends show there is no significant positive change, and there is a huge disparity between countries in the EU regarding the participation of women in the digital sector.
In spite of the growing demand for ICT specialists and digital profiles, the percentage of Europeans with ICT studies is diminishing, and this tendency is more pronounced in the case of women. Actually, there are four times more men than women in Europe with ICT-related studies, and the number of women taking up ICT related higher education has decreased when compared to 2011.
Other findings refer to the annual productivity loss for the European economy due to women leaving their digital jobs to become inactive, which is calculated to be about EUR 16.2 billion. On the other hand, although female owned start-ups are more likely to be successful, there is less women’s participation, leadership and investment in the entrepreneurial digital sector.
These inequalities point at persistent gender stereotypes and bias as the root causes. In that sense, the study includes a series of policy recommendations that refer to the role models related to ICT, mentoring initiatives, media representations and education at early stages.