EPWS survey on “Gender equality and ICT in higher education and in the integration into the world of work – Status quo, public or private policies in different European countries (except France)”.
for the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation- 09/2019
Claudine Hermann, EPWS President
Original French title: «Egalité des sexes et numérique dans les formations du supérieur et l’insertion professionnelle – Etat des lieux, politiques publiques ou privées dans différents pays d’Europe»
The lack of women in Information Technology (IT), or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an ethical issue – why should women be absent of this promising sector?- but also an economic one, as a larger qualified workforce will be needed in the future in this domain. This concern on the place of women still increased in the past years because of the importance that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to take: in this sector machine learning is mostly done by men and in a male culture, which will create problems for gender equality. Consequently not only public institutions and associations, but enterprises are concerned with the women’s situation in IT.
In this context, the United Nations declared the last April Thursday as the International Day for Girls in IT; this Day was celebrated since 2015, an initiative relying on a Resolution of the International Union of Telecommunications, the UN institution specialized in ICT.
In many countries, including USA, France, Portugal, the rate of girls in IT Higher Education studies decreased with respect to the initial situation in this discipline.
Many recommendations, many syntheses on the too low rate of women in IT have been produced since the end of the 2000’s. It is interesting to know what was concretely done and at which scale. In Chapter II the status quo on women in IT is presented; we will see that as early as 2009-2012 the EU Commission and the European Parliament produced documents on this issue. In Ch.III initiatives of the public and private sectors to improve the place of women in IT in different countries are presented: these numerous actions arise from states, universities associations or enterprises. Chapter IV is the conclusion.
Download the Full Report ( in French, with Annexes in English)