Gender equality and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

ICT is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in the European Union and the world. However, malnutrition of workers in the ICT sector remains a widely recognized challenge today, which is also reflected in the gender imbalance. The shortage of women in ICT professions can be seen in Slovenia.

Gender equality in STEM is important for several reasons. Having a more equal playing field can help reduce the skills gap between men and women, increase women’s employment and productivity, and reduce occupational segregation. Increasing the proportion of women in STEM could have the effect of breaking the cycle of poverty in disadvantaged communities, where women often do not have the same opportunities as men.

Women make up only 28% of the STEM workforce. Gender gaps are particularly large in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, such as computing and technology. Restrictive factors and stereotypes that influence women’s low participation and interest in digital technologies are:

  • Negative perceptions and stereotypes about computing and technology, such as “ICT is a male profession” or “ICT challenges coding,” influence how women experience ICT.
  • A lack of understanding of what is available in the ICT industry discourages girls from opportunities in this field.
  • The lack of women as role models in STEM or computer science and technology fields also contributes to the low interest of women in ICT education.
  • The lack of teaching experience on the part of teachers and the curriculum reduces girls’ exposure to technological opportunities and career choices.

The most effective approaches/methods to increase girls’ and women’s interest in technology are:

  • More general interest and more information in social or traditional media, events, initiatives, etc. It contributes to raising awareness of the problem and may change women’s perceptions of ICT or STEM.
  • The IT sector will not be allowed to associate with programming alone. The field of information technology offers many interesting career opportunities, as information technology itself is an increasingly creative field.
  • Explain and explain how technology works, and what can be created with technology.

Gender imbalances in IT and skills prompted Symbiosis Genesis, a social enterprise, to partner with the INCO Academy, which runs a variety of digital empowerment programs globally to increase employment in the IT sector. As a national partner, Symbiosis has joined the Work in Tech project, which will provide 125 women with free access to online education. Participants who successfully complete the program will earn the world-renowned Google IT Support Professional certification. The course consists of 153 hours and consists of 5 units and is a precursor to initial work in the field of information support. Through a mixture of video content, exercises, quizzes and practical tasks, participants will be introduced to various skills such as: performing daily IT support tasks, including setting up computers, wireless networks and software to provide end-to-end customer support (defining and implementing problems and solutions) and using operating systems and name systems Domains, command line interfaces, and binary code.

More information about the program and how to apply at: https://simbioza.eu/blog/dogodki/work-in-tech-2

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