As part of the celebration of the International Women’s Day, on 7 March, W4IT contributed to a breakfast discussion on the challenges of female entrepreneurs hosted by MEP Maria Grapini and organized by METRO AG. The event was well attended by members of the European Parliament, officials from the European Commission as well as other stakeholders and young female entrepreneurs.
Director Helena Lovegrove at DIGITALEUROPE, one of the expert partners in the W4IT project, presented the background and objectives of the project to develop innovative solutions to bring young women at the risk of exclusion into digital jobs.
During her presentation, she stressed the need for investment in education and digital skills to increase the percentage of women working as ICT specialists, sharing with the audience that only 1.4% of total female workers in OECD countries have jobs that develop, maintain and operate ICT systems, compared to 5.5% of the male workers.
Helena strongly emphasised the important role of the Women4IT project in addressing youth unemployment while decreasing the ICT specialist gap in Europe. The project, developed by 9 partners under the EEA and Norway grants, aims at raising awareness among vulnerable girls and women on ICT jobs as well as at providing competence training facilitating employment into digital jobs. With the goal of reaching 10 000 adolescents with digital career awareness campaigns, assessing 1000 girls and women with a specifically designed profiling tool, and providing training to 700 women in the upcoming 3 years, the project focuses on empowering vulnerable females to upskill and use their digital competences on the market.
With skills comes confidence, and with skills and confidence come jobs, said Helena in the discussion.
Together with the audience, she identified the key digital skills that are relevant to most of today’s female entrepreneurs, digital marketing being one of them. She also referred to the importance of role models, who can share their experiences and achievements with female counterparts.
The Women4IT met with many enthusiastic reactions and support from the audience, and we were happy to exchange views with a number of inspiring women – entrepreneurs, ICT specialists and policy makers. Many opinions differed, but in one we agreed for sure – we need more female entrepreneurs and ICT specialists, and we are committed to making it happen!
From the event:
— METRO Public Policy (@METRO_Politics) 7 mars 2019
Follow Women4IT on social media: