The leaflet below was produced as part of the EU project, GenGapsDigi, aiming to challenge gender stereotypes surrounding ICT-related sectors and thus reach equality in decision-making when choosing a career path.
The EU is experiencing a strong need for highly skilled personnel in the digital sector: a shortfall of at least 700,000 ICT professionals is expected this year. The ICT sector is experiencing much higher growth rates compared to other sectors: if average growth forecasts for occupations is 3%, for the digital sector it is 8%. With a rapidly ageing population, it is young people who will have to fill this gap. Across the EU, there is a disbalance in the participation of women in the ICT-related labor market resulting from low participation of girls in technical higher education. On average for the EU, for every 1000 women, only 24 graduate in ICT-related fields. In Bulgaria, only 1/3 of employees in the ICT sector are female. In Cyprus, only 4% of women compared to 27% of men work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations. The main factors for gender gaps in ICT are releted to the negative perceptions that this is a male-dominated sector. Such stereotypes influence the career choices of young women and thus have an effect on the gender gap and the composition of the labor market. Therefore, the main objective of the proposed project is to contribute to a much-needed change of mindset and thus transform the BG and CY environment to support and encourage girls and young women to be confident about building a career in ICT.
The main objectives of the projectare:
- To challenge gender stereotypes surrounding ICT-related sectors and thus reach equality in decision-making, specifically career choice.
- To provide educational materials and game formats for the training of digital skills in geographic regions where these are less developed.
- To enhance young women’s digital entrepreneurship and thus build confidence in the female digital workforce of the future.
- To generate a sustainable model where key stakeholders (job and education providers) act in a positive feedback loop by applying proven behavioral levers.