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Human Resources

EU: More Women in Digital Would Bring in 1.3 Times Malta's GDP per Year

A new study released by the European Commission today states: “Women’s active participation in the ICT sector is essential for Europe's long term growth and economic sustainability.” This report stresses that the erosion of talent in the ICT sector is costing Europe hard cash.

It calculates: “if women who have studied ICT-related fields and who are currently not working were to work in the ICT sector in the same proportion as men…  the gain for the European GDP  each year would be around 9 bln Euro (1.3 times Malta's GDP).”

Yet headline-grabbing statistics aside, what leaps out about this study is it covers exactly the same stuff that always pops up when you look at women in IT: namely the perception of IT. In fact, the long aims of this report are to help: build a renewed image for the sector, empower women, increase female entrepreneurs and improve working conditions.

Here at IDG Connect we have written extensively about the baffling perception issues around IT. Whilst a report we published earlier this year showed 30% of those surveyed thought that the lack of women in IT was down to an image problem. 

Interesting new findings from the European Commission also show that not only do far fewer women hold an ICT degree, but only 9% of women aged over 45 years with a degree in an ICT field actually work in the industry. This reveals a sharp drop-off of female employees across the sector - a trend that is highlighted by findings that 19.2% of ICT-sector workers have a female boss, compared to 45.2% of non-ICT workers. But perhaps the most counter intuitive statistic is that women who work in the ICT sector actually earn almost 9% more than women in other parts of the economy. And they also have greater flexibility and are less susceptible to unemployment.

The lack of women in IT is a topic that continues to be researched and covered in the media. Yet the on-going negative image of IT does continue to prove astonishing. There may be an innate arts/ science divide… and many people simply do not have a brain for numbers. But this aside, all the biggest companies of recent years have been in IT – look at Google or Facebook – and IT is facilitating social improvement all over the world.  Surely that has got to be exciting…

 

The press release can be found here

The full report is available here (no registration necessary)

 

Kathryn Cave is Editor at IDG Connect

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