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Wanted: more women in ICT
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Published on 08-03-12

To coincide with International Women's Day, the EU's Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes has called for the digital world to be more inclusive of the talents and interests of women.  To sign-up to the movement of digital women.

    Commissioner Neelie Kroes

    Commissioner Neelie Kroes

    Mrs Kroes said: "Today I and others have made a powerful and clear statement. That technology isn't a boy's world. That we need to bring together the ICT revolution and the gender equality revolution. That the exponential growth in ICT shouldn't just be governed by Moore's Law: but by a "more women" law.

    Talking in at the launch of the "Get online week" in Brussels this week, Mrs Kroes drew attention to the lack of girls going into ICT careers being a shame given they were both fascinating and central to the economy and society.

    She said: "We must show the many ways in which ICT empowers women. Whether it's helping people with family commitments work or train from home. Or a tool for self-expression. ICT can help women. Already we're seeing more and more sites delivering for women – sites like Mumsnet or Pinterest".

    Mrs Kroes highlighted that as many as 90% of girls are interested in ICT at school, but they don't convert that into university study, unlike boys. Also, the importance of role models, ie if girls meet people who are positive about ICT, if they realise that ICT careers are exciting and exuberant, with the chance to travel, to help others and to work independently — then they will be turned on to it.

    To see speech

    Differences in internet shopping habits were just some of the statistics released today to mark International Women's Day by the Commission's statistical office, Eurostat.

    Women proved to be the biggest shoppers of clothes and food, whilst men focussed more on electronic equipment.  However, when it comes to booking travel and holidays online, then it appears men and women take equal responsibility.

    When it comes to employment rates between women and men, the Eurostat report highlighted the impact education levels have between the sexes.  In the UK, the employment rate for women in the low education category (up to lower secondary education) is 48.1% versus to 66.3% for men. A difference of 18.2% (EU: 21.9%).  Whereas the difference between men and women is 6.9% for those in the high education band (tertiary). Similar differences were reported across the EU.

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    Last update: 15/03/2012  |Top