Gender Equality and e-Skills Gap: Improving the Digital Competency of Women for Advancement in the Workforce
WSIS Forum 2016, ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
Monday, 2nd May from 14:30-16:15 CET
We are proud to announce that we will be hosting a workshop on gender e-skills gap this year at the World Summit on the Information Society-WSIS Forum 2016.
The world has reached a point where digital literacy is fundamental for finding a job. In the future, ninety percent of jobs will demand digital skills. The ICT sector is growing. The Digital Agenda for Europe estimates that by 2020 there will be a skills deficit that equates to almost a million unfilled jobs.
Despite high unemployment across Europe, the huge e-skills gap is a barrier to existing roles in the sector. In order to boost competitiveness, productivity and employability of the workforce, we need to bridge the e-skills gap to ensure innovation and growth by updating the skills of the existing talent pool.
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 gender-balanced and diverse teams perform better. Given these disparities, urgent measures need to be taken to ensure economic empowerment of women and consequently, an inclusive, diversified and welcoming work environment.
The presentations will include short talks:
– The role of women technologists in bridging the gender e-skills gap
– Case study: the impact of The Code to Change programme on reintegrating women into the workforce
– The importance of mentoring women to enable them 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
The WSIS Forum 2016 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The WSIS Forum builds upon the outcomes of the UN General Assembly Overall Review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes (UNGA Resolution 70/125), which recognized the necessity of holding this Forum on an annual basis and called for a close alignment between WSIS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) processes.
WSIS is a UN summit that was initiated in order to create an evolving multi-stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by ICTs through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels.