Gender equality challenges in the tech sector in Europe

The EURACTIV published "A man’s world: Challenging gender stereotypes in the tech sector" event report. It summarises the issues female top 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 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 Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, the Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, reflecting on the tech sector that needs to take the lead on gender equality. Per the European Institute for Gender Equality 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 ICT specialists from 1% to 6% by 2025.

Event’s main takeaways are:

  1. There must be at least 30% women in leadership roles before female leaders are considered normal
  2. Often the large global tech companies are at the forefront of gender issues, 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
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