Gender equality challenges in the tech sector in Europe

EURACTIV published the event report titled ‘A man’s world: Challenging gender stereotypes in the tech sector’. It summarises the issues top female leaders in the business, political, and tech worlds have raised about gender equality in the bloc’s technology sector. The EU Commissioner for Innovation and Research Mariya Gabriel said that European tech firms in Europe are losing talents and diversity due to their unwillingness to hire women across all levels of management, and called for more practical approaches to be taken in addressing this issue. Gabriel reminded about the Digital strategy which states ’More women can and must have rewarding careers in tech, and European tech needs to benefit from women’s skills and competences. [...] The digital transition must be fair and just and encourage women to fully take part.’ The report also includes a column by Director General of DIGITALEUROPE Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, reflecting on the tech sector that needs to take the lead on gender equality. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality’s (EIGE) data, amongst the largest Europe’s companies, only 8% are led by female CEOs. Eurostat shows that ‘fewer than two in ten ICT specialists’ jobs in Europe are held by women.’ DIGITALEUROPE’s 2019 manifesto contains an objective to boost the percentage of women working as information and communication technology (ICT) specialists from 1% to 6% by 2025.

There are three main takeaways from the event.

  1. There must be at least 30% of women in leadership roles before female leaders are considered normal.
  2. Large global tech companies are often at the forefront of gender issues, while smaller European companies are lagging behind.
  3. There is a fundamental need for more women in cybersecurity because diverse teams have shown to be more effective at catching cyber-attacks.