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European Commission


Brussels, 25 April 2013

Wanted: more women in digital jobs. European Commission supports global Girls in ICT Day

How can we encourage more young female tech talent into digital jobs? The European Commission, European Parliament and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are coming together on Girls in ICT Day (25 April) to find new ways of encouraging girls to take up careers in ICT and to show them the opportunities on offer.

  • 7 million people work in the information and communication (ICT) sector in Europe. Out of the ICT workforce, only 30% are women.

  • The ICT sector is rapidly growing, creating around 120 000 new jobs every year

  • There will be up to 900,000 unfilled ICT-related vacancies in 2015.

  • Of every thousand women with a bachelor's degree in Europe, only twenty nine hold a degree in IT.

  • Out of those twenty nine, only four work in the ICT sector.

These issues will be explored in depth at a European Parliament hearing organised by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. On the agenda: the stereotypical portrayal of girls and women in the media, industry's responsibility for driving change in the ICT sector, digital skills, and the business case for getting more women to work in ICT. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, will share her views alongside speakers from the digital and tech sectors.

Girls in ICT Day complements the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs (IP/13/182), the Commission's partnership with Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to boost digital jobs and training. It is also part of the Commission's wider efforts to attract young women to science, technology, engineering, and mathematic subjects and into research careers. Girls in ICT Day is an ITU initiative that has been held annually since 2010 around the world. It is one element of ITU's on-going Tech Needs Girls campaign.

In Brussels, Girls in ICT Day starts with DigitaLive, workshops showcasing digital and tech jobs as an attractive career choice for young women. Topics range from the technology behind DJing to building robots, designing mobile apps and imagining digital futures as far ahead as 2050.

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, and Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU, together with Céline Fremault, Minister for Scientific Research of the Brussels-Capital Region, will visit the workshops and talk to school students from the Brussels area about the opportunities which digital and tech jobs can offer.

Useful links

Girls in ICT Day in Brussels

Women in ICT

Hash tags: #girlsinict, #girlsdigital, #womendigital

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