Blog post co-authored by Ms Vasso KOLLIA, Secretary-General for Gender Equality, Hellenic Ministry of Interior, and Ms Eva FABRY, Director, European Centre for Women in Technology - ECWT
On Friday, 4th of April 2014, during a dedicated Greek Presidency Conference, the “Women and Girls Go Digital - WGGD” initiative was officially launched, under the leadership of the Hellenic General Secretariat for Gender Equality and in collaboration with the European Centre for Women and Technology - ECWT. The “Women and Girls Go Digital - WGGD” initiative brings together 17 Greek and 4 European stakeholders as partners, seeking to tackle the main obstacles holding back women from getting involved in ICT related employment and economy fields, while working proactively to convince employers in male dominated ICT market sectors that tapping valuable female talent is not an option, but a necessity.
Women make an important contribution to the social and economic development of the world, but compared to men, a systematic gap in their involvement primarily in innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership is still observed. Europe is facing a massive unemployment while social exclusion and poverty remains a threat primarily for the female population. Women now more than ever need to be encouraged to release their full potential for growth, play an active role in digital competitiveness and start new ICT businesses and careers.
The “Women and Girls Go Digital - WGGD” initiative brings together 17 Greek and 4 European stakeholders as partners, seeking to tackle the main obstacles holding back women from getting involved in ICT related employment and economy fields, while working proactively to convince employers in male dominated ICT market sectors that tapping valuable female talent is not an option, but a necessity.
Following a protocol founded on joint strategic and operational planning and effective synergies, the pledgers will implement targeted actions by making full use of their recourses and expertise. The efforts for the next period will focus on improving women’s access to STEM related education and training, raising awareness about ICT career paths, strengthening female and particularly young people’s entrepreneurship and business start-up, fostering the growth of women-owned businesses which can create new jobs and bring economic growth.
The WGGD initiative intervenes in several links of the chain “knowledge and skills, job market, economy, public attitudes” making necessary an “ICT-plus-gender” mainstreaming in public policy. The Action Plan that will be put in place takes into consideration international standards of good practices and maintains an active dialogue with other national and European ICT related initiatives. The Greek National Digital Coalition will ultimately seek to improve and update the Greek ICT innovation ecosystem promoting an enhanced role and acceptance of women in all knowledge environments.
The founding coalition partners are: The General Secretariat for Gender Equality - Ministry of Interior (Coordinator), the General Secretariat for Youth - Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, the General Secretariat for Life Long Learning - Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, the Secretariat General of Mass Media, the Hellenic Manpower Employment Organization, the National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering - N.T.U.A.- Division of Industrial Electric Devices and Decision Systems, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Dept. of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Patras-Computer Engineering and Informatics Department, the Federation of Hellenic Information Technology & Communications Enterprises, Cisco Systems Hellas, Google, Microsoft Hellas, Oracle Hellas, Manpowergroup Greece, the Hellenic Management Association - Sector of Women Managers and Entrepreneurs, Found.ation, the European Centre for Women and Technology, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the European Schoolnet and the Team Europe –Representation of EC in Greece.
This is a guest blog post written by Vasso Kollia, General Secretary for Gender Equality and Eva Fabry, Director of the European Centre for Women and Technology .
For more information please visit the Greek Digital Coalition Conference site: http://www.womengodigital.eu