Celebrating the 2019 International Girls in ICT Day
- BIK Team
Thursday, 25 April 2019 marks the International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), aiming to encourage and empower girls and young women to choose studies and careers in the field of ICTs, enabling both girls and ICT companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.
The need for skilled ICT workers
The ICT sector is characterised by a growing gap between the digital skills needed by employers and the number of jobseekers with the required competencies. Within the next ten years, it is estimated that there will be more than 2 million technology jobs that cannot be filled because of lack of qualified specialists in this field. Besides, many ICT companies are looking to diversify their workforce. Therefore, qualified young women represent an interesting recruitment pool for them.
A way to fill the digital gender gap
Yet, not enough women opt for studies in mathematics, engineering, computing and sciences, and the number of female technical students remains disproportionately low. This is regrettable, given that professional opportunities in the ICT sector significantly empower women, thereby contributing to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially, SDG 5 aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls through, among others, ICTs. Therefore, the International Girls in ICT Day is a perfect example of how investing in women is beneficial to them, but also to society as a whole. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres put it, "women's participation makes (…) economies more vigorous… Gender equality is the unfinished business of our time".
Learn more on the International Girls in ICT Day on the ITU's website – including an interactive maps of events organised worldwide and tips on how you can get involved – and keep an eye on #GirlsinICT.
- BIK Team
The #DigitalRespect4Her campaign is an initiative launched by Commissioners for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel to raise awareness of the gender-specific violence young girls and women face online on a daily basis. Indeed, women are 27 times more likely than men to be harassed online (this includes online sexual harassment and stalking) and they sometimes face such abuse at a very young age.
Did you know that only 30 per cent of the 7 million people working in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector are women? This means not only that ICT careers need to be made more appealing for young girls, but also that women in ICT need better representation at higher levels.
- BIK team
Nowadays, there is a shortage of skilled workers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) field, which makes it a priority for schools, Ministries of Education and also European policy makers to put a stronger focus on empowering children and young people to take an interest in ICT-related subjects and to study towards a career in the field.