Last week, the Women4IT Team travelled to Prague for the annual All Digital Summit. After a big pandemic-caused pause in physical events, we were thrilled to see our audience in person once more and share the project’s approach to digital skills training and embracing women in technology.
During the three-day event, the project consortium hosted a showcase of the Women4IT initiative and a high-level digital skills expert panel. In addition, we participated in the Innovation track, lightning talks, and marketplace, where we chatted with the rest of the participants and attendees to the event about our mission of introducing more women to the digital sector.
“We want women to know there is a place for them in the IT market“, said Gabriela Ford of Fundatia EOS, explaining the Women4IT purpose to the audience during our showcase.
Our project representatives, Mara Jakobsone, Andrada Beloia, Vita Vitola-Lapina, Andra Krasavina, Gabriela Ford, and Katarzyna Udala, discussed the project’s three-year trajectory, during which 900 young women from 7 European countries were trained in job-relevant digital skills and received employability mentorship. The team also shared the newly published Open Educational Resources and other tools developed during the project to make digital education easy and accessible.
“We are happy to say that 70% of our trainees were hired after their training” – Andrada Beloia of Fundatia EOS, discussing the project’s impact.
The team was also present at the panel entitled High-Level Digital Skills for Adults, during which panelists discussed the importance of modernized and inclusive digital education. As Laurentiu Bunescu explained, “digital skills are a necessity for everyone, whichever their background, to have a better job and better quality of life in this century“.
With digital transformation impacting all areas of life, the experts agreed that everyone must be prepared for it accordingly. While common targets have already been established and many actions taken at pan-European, national, and local levels, our expert panel gave some suggestions on how to boost digital education even further. Some of the recommendations included:
- making learning simple and entertaining for users,
- having engaged governments and stakeholders working closely together,
- and taking away the fear factor by explaining digital transformation, its influence, possible consequences, and upcoming opportunities.
The themes of inclusive digital education also echoed during the All Digital Summit’s keynote speeches. Georgi Dimitrov, EU Commission, highlighted that in order to achieve the ambitious Digital Decade targets, a strategy revision and additional steps are necessary. Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Digitisation, Ivan Bartoš, called for curricula adapted to the 21st century’s needs and a long-term, inclusive strategy for digital skills, especially in the context of female ICT specialists, both in the Czech Republic and Europe-wide. Finally, Vania Neto, representing Microsoft Education, Skills & Learning, brought attention to boosting students’ potential through digital skills.
The conference indeed very informative and enriching three days, and we are looking forward to next year’s edition.
Have you missed this year’s activities? You can rewatch them here.