Gender Equality is not possible without the economic empowerment of women. For women to be economically empowered, they must join the digital revolution. The world has reached a point where digital literacy is fundamental for finding a job. In future, ninety percent of jobs will demand digital skills. The ICT sector is growing. There is a shortage of skills and diversity in the global workforce. The Digital Agenda for Europe estimates that by 2020 there will be a skills deficit that equates to almost a million unfilled jobs. The huge e-skills gap is a barrier to access existing roles in the ICT sector.
According to a Web Foundation report, less than 50% of women use the Internet to empower themselves, even in areas with access. According to the Council of European Professional Informatics Society, only 20 percent of the 2.7 million people working in the ICT sector are women. The percentage is even lower in the IT sector. Women also disproportionally leave the ICT sector as they progress in their careers. The lack of female participation in technology-related studies exacerbates a pre-existing problem with labour supply shortages. Multiple studies have shown that more diverse and gender-balanced teams perform better. Given these disparities, urgent measures need to be taken to ensure the economic empowerment of women and consequently, an inclusive, diversified and welcoming work environment.
In order to boost competitiveness, productivity and employability of the workforce, we need to bridge the e-skills gap. By updating the skills of the existing talent pool we ensure that innovation and growth can take place and access to technology translates into empowerment.
Join our discussion on bridging the e-skills gap and to further our understanding on how we can contribute to the economic empowerment of women in the digital age as well as accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Key themes we will cover:
• The role of women technologists and local community leaders in bridging the gender e-skills gap
• Case study: the impact of The Code to Change programme on reintegrating women into the workforce
• Bridging the e-skills gap through mentoring to enable women to access opportunities in the ICT sector
• How a multi-stakeholder approach can contribute to better solutions for digital inclusion and women’s economic empowerment
• The role of the technology industry in bridging the gender digital divide
• The policy makers’ perspective on barriers to the empowerment of women in the digital age