Today, at the Digital4Her Conference hosted by the European Commission, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel presented her strategy for Women in Digital and triggered a productive debate to build on it with concrete actions that will help close the gender inequality in the digital sector. She underlined the need for women's participation and the potential it will bring to economic growth.

As part of her announced strategy, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel presented a number of activities at the Digital4Her Conference.

More data with gender as an indicator

The Commissioner announced her intention to measure and publishes Member States' data on gender efforts in the annual Digital scoreboard of the European commission, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). She will discuss the need to set national action plans as well as national and EU targets with Member States, at the ministerial level.

The MEDIA program will start monitoring data focussing on gender representation starting this year, the results of which will be published in their annual report for 2019.

Sharing good practices – Audiovisual sector

The Commissioner has also invited all European Audio-visual regulators to explain legislation and good practices that exist at national levels to combat stereotypes in the media. Their reports were discussed during the event and will be shared with relevant ministers. A short preliminary report by a member of ERGA (the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services), outlining national measures and initiatives to support the place and image of women in the media, both on- and off-screen will be published. The full report by EPRA will be available in July.

Declaration for tech companies

During the event, tech companies signed a declaration that committed them to implement, promote and spread concrete actions that can help achieve gender balance in companies. The signing of this declaration is a major step forward in realising the potential of women through their increased participation in the digital sector boosting economic growth and promoting diversity. Signing the declaration is a public commitment from these companies to achieving gender balance by providing opportunities for women in their companies in five focus areas:

  • promoting an open and inclusive company culture where women can feel welcome and appreciated,
  • invest in diversity of teams,
  • give women in tech visibility by highlighting their successes, 
  • identify potential women leaders and mentor them appropriately,
  • promote these values whenever possible.

European Network for Women in Digital

The Commissioner also launched a n online networking platform for women in the digital sector at the event. The European Network for Women in Digital is an initiative that will strengthen collaboration and cooperation among organisations across the European Union working towards combatting gender stereotypes and promoting more women's participating in the digital sector.

Women-led tech startup awards

Lastly, in order to celebrate women leadership in tech entrepreneurship, a pitching session was organised to select the best tech European start-ups led by women. The winner will win a Startup Awards highlighting female tech entrepreneurs. Find the update on who the winner is tomorrow or follow us on twitter to get the latest news.

Background

The recent study on Women in Digital Age concludes that a cultural change is important to bring about an increase in women's participation and the steps announced in this event will enable in reinforcing this change. Based on the findings of the study, the commissioner announced the focus areas and series of actions to bring about a gender balanced. The Digital4Her conference focussed on 3 pillars: combatting stereotypes in audio-visual media, digital skills and education, and digital entrepreneurship, where the European Commission will focus on to promote women and girls to take up ICT related studies and jobs.

Participants responded to online polls, took part in discussion panels and workshops where they heard inspiring speakers who are role models in empowering women and girls in the digital sector.