Digital Age: Women and IT
Digital Age: The growing IT industry brings women face to face with a male-dominated space. What is valid in Greece and Europe?
Most likely, the image that most people have in mind of the IT worker is not that of a woman, but of a man, which makes sense, as women’s employment remains very limited in this industry, even in the digital age.
Website development, computer maintenance and repair as well as software programming is somewhat of what comprising IT is. So traditionally, computer science is associated with men, although the nature of work does not require the increased physical abilities of men.
Digital Age: What’s in the EU?
Women in EU Member States represent only 21.5% of workers in digital jobs. Among developers in particular, 9% who work are women and as managers of telecommunications / IT companies 19% are women.
But things are even worse in the payroll sector, for women as they earn on average almost 19% less than men, in addition to the discrimination and stereotypes that exist in everyday life.
The trend of course shows a narrowing of the gap in recent years, but at a very slow pace.
Digital era: In Greece, all negative performance
According to data released by the Commission at the end of 2020, Greece ranks third from the bottom in the European ranking in terms of the opportunities it provides to women for equal participation in the digital economy. The data even show that the position of women in the digital economy in general in the countries of southern and eastern Europe is negative.
Greece figures, not coincidentally, in the latest positions and the corresponding ranking in the EU related to whether the EU has digital skills. In general in Europe, even today, women are less likely to have specialized digital skills than men.
Digital Age: Why?
The European institutions note that there are many reasons. They highlight the limited number of women oriented in this field of study. Also, many more women than men with similar degrees leave the industry after a few years. It is noted that women are less likely to be employed than the average, while in the labor market there is a lot of discrimination. Finally, social stereotypes that influence study and work choices are not underestimated. All of these are barriers for employees and potential employees in the industry.
Digital age: It is not only women who are being harmed
The problem that is recognized in the EU and obviously applies to Greece, is that with the current situation, the European economy is losing. According to estimates, the profits of the EU with the largest participation of women in the digital industry would be significant. They estimate the profits at 16 million euros if the women with a degree in information technology / telecommunications did not leave their jobs.
The EU also recognizes that with more active participation of women, the products and services produced would be better designed and the result of more creative work by a diverse workforce.
Since 2018, the European Parliament has concluded that gender discrimination must be eliminated in all phases of the industry, from the process of training and orienting young people to wages and employment conditions. The Commission in its strategy for gender equality includes the conditions of employment of women as an area that will significantly benefit the European economy.