|Female participation in the ICT sector in Europe : For every 1000 women with a bachelor degree|
Regarding the difficulties of women reaching managerial and decision-making positions, the study found that in Europe, the largest quoted companies count 16% of women in their highest decision-making bodies. Worldwide, in 2010, 96% of companies’ CEOs in the IT & Telecom sectors are male.
The so-called “glass ceiling” is clearly identified by women: according to a 2011 study from the Institute of Leadership and Management from the United Kingdom 73% of women managers believed that there are barriers preventing them from progressing to top levels, and that these barriers are acknowledged by women at all ages, but particularly those with longer careers.
In contrast, only 38% of men believe the glass ceiling exists.
Young women usually see jobs in the ICT sector as solitary, boring and useless in terms of helping others. They prefer working with people on tasks involving strong human relationships. Current stereotypes relating to the sector include: long working hours, a largely male-dominated environment, and difficulties in balancing personal and professional life.
2. Empower women in the sector
Certain psychological and socio-psychological factors have important effects on the labour market outcome, particularly in very male-dominated sectors such as ICT. These factors include gender differences in risk preferences, attitudes towards competition, strengthening other-regarding preferences, and attitudes towards negotiation. Those differences have a significant impact on gender gaps in the ICT sector and are partially explained by lack of confidence of women in their own capabilities as well as a cultural and social environment which is still dominated by strong preconceptions regarding appropriate jobs for men and women.
3. Increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the ICT sector
The number of female entrepreneurs in the ICT sector is low compared to other sectors. Women constitute 53.9% of entrepreneurs in non-ICT sectors and 31.1% of all European self/employed while accounting for a mere 19.2% of ICT entrepreneurs. Promoting entrepreneurship in Europe, both among men and women, is critical for European economy.
4. Improve working conditions in the sector
There are two main problems in the sector which affect the working conditions of women: the persistence of certain informal rules in the sector (the so called “oldboys’ network system”), and working conditions (working hours and schedules). With this said, maternity remains the turning point of women’s careers in this
sector as well.