The European Commission has published the Quanticae study on the role of women in the digital world on 8 March, International Women’s Day. On this occasion, this new study points to the increasing gap between men and women in the digital sector in terms of education, professional career and entrepreneurship.
The study, led by the European Commission, shows that, despite the growing demand for ICT specialists and digital profiles, the percentage of Europeans with ICT studies is falling. A common trend in both sexes, however, contrasts with the fact that fewer women than men are in ICT jobs and studies.
Among the main findings of the Women in Digital Age study is the decrease in the number of women in ICT-related higher education compared to 2011. In this sense, men with ICT education are four times more than women who also opt for these studies. In terms of employment, the proportion of men working in the digital sector is 3.1 times higher than the proportion of women.
The study also highlights the annual loss of productivity for the European economy as a result of women leaving digital jobs and becoming inactive. The results point to a loss of around 16.2 billion euros per year. In terms of the creation of new companies, the greater probability of success of female owned companies is highlighted, although participation, leadership and investment in the digital business sector are reduced.
The under-representation of women at all levels of the digital sector in Europe is behind ‘Women in Digital Age’. Although this is a sector that creates thousands of new jobs per year, the presence of women is shrinking as the demand for ICT skills increases. The quantitative and qualitative techniques applied to the report suggest that gender inequality in the digital sector responds to strong biases, requiring measures that affect role modeling, mentoring, the role of the media and early education. Similarly, as mentioned in the workshop that presented the results of the study, the recommendations and specific measures are aimed at three main areas: the need for more data, the need to deepen perceptions of the technology sector and the incorporation of the gender perspective in public policies.