The speed of tech development and its implications in the different aspects of modern life mean that, based on data provided by the World Economic Forum, 65% of the Primary level students will have jobs that do not exist today. But already in the next two years, there will be about 900,000 unfilled job vacancies due to the lack of workers with appropriate digital skills.
The existing gender gap within the ICT sector is a widespread problem, being transversal across the globe and within organizations of very distinct scale and complexity. Although the gender gap can be perceived in levels of access, how this access is done and with which objective, the main gap is actually within the industry. There are also socio-economic barriers that limit the entrance of women to this sector and discourage girls from an young age to pursue STEM interests and careers.
The European Commission report on “Women active in the ICT sector” found out that at European level, only 29 out of 1000 female graduates choose a computing related degree (in comparison to 95 of male), being this number substantially reduced to 4 when we talk about ICT. In addition to this, women tend to leave the sector throughout their careers meaning that only 9% of those that studied ICT careers still working in the field by the age of 45.
In Catalonia, based on the numbers provided by the Agency for the Quality of the Catalonian University System1, during the academic year of 2015-16, only 13% of the students enrolled in ICT degrees were female.
Research carried out by the European Commission has shown that having more women working in digital jobs could represent a GDP boost of €9 billion annual. Based on data produced by Barcelona City Council in 2015, only 1 in 3 workers working within the ICT sector is a female, so the opportunity for a more gender balanced sector is massive.
When it comes to executive positions, research carried out by the European Commission shows, that only 16% of these positions are occupied by women in the ICT sector, while at a global scale, 96% of the CEOs of ICT companies are men.
Furthermore, the ICT sector offers a great career opportunity in Barcelona, based on data collected by Barcelona Activa – it creates a lot more jobs than the average of sectors; 52,6% of its new vacancies are long-term; and the average salary is 25% higher than the average in the city.