On the Fourth Thursday of April is celebrated the “International Girls in ICT Day”, this day is celebrated from 2011.
It was in 2010 when the member countries of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a body attached to the UN , decided to create this event, a product of the enormous digital gender gap that has been evidenced over the years.
In recent years, the number of women who decided to study and dedicate themselves to computing and technology has decreased. And this, in a world as digitized as the one we live in, is still strange.
The gap becomes even deeper when we talk about content generation, web page development, software creation, applications and other digital elements, areas in which men have much more presence than women.
The same thing happens in the field of science. For this reason, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was created, which is celebrated on February 11.
Experts have detected three fundamental causes why there are so few women in the world of technology, these are:
1) The false belief that girls and women do not have the necessary ability: this statement is the result of a poor perception of reality, since, if given the possibility, from a young age, girls have the same capacities and abilities than children in the field of science and technology. What’s more, it is currently known that women are better at developing the user experience (UX) in terms of the design and arrangement of elements on any technological platform.
2) The perception that women are better in terms of social skills and worse in technology: although it is true that women have more social skills than men in general, being social does not imply lacking technological skills and in a world where social seems reign, having the feminine vision can be a huge advantage. At least that is demonstrated by the social network Pinterest, whose users are, in more than 80%, women.
3) Educational disadvantages: a very entrenched problem also persists in economically depressed countries or in less favored social sectors, where men are given the opportunity to study over women.
The data that set off the alarms to justify the celebration of the International Day of Girls in ICT
Some interesting statistics that reinforce the digital gender gap are:
According to data from the World Economic Forum, only 6% of CEOs in the technology industry are women.
In addition, the same entity pointed out that on the board of directors of all companies in the world only 19% of the positions are held by women.
In the European Union, out of every 1000 women with a university degree, only 29 graduate from an ICT-related career and of those only 4 end up in a job in the world of new information and communication technologies.
A 2016 report by Eurostat showed that in 2014 80% of technology professionals in the EU were men.
Last but not least, in the world of technology, as in many other sectors, women typically earn 20% less salary compared to their male colleagues in a similar position.
Why it is so important that girls and women in general take an interest in ICT
Beyond a gender problem, the fundamental reason for creating this day is that the lack of women with skills for the use and development of ICTs, results in a serious decrease in the economic and social development of the countries. .
Currently, all economic activity that is being carried out in the world implicitly involves the use of some technological element, be it, from knowing how to make a call from a smartphone to much more complex work such as managing an inventory through dynamic tables in Excel or track metrics on social media.
If the female population, which also happens to be the majority, does not have the skills or knowledge necessary to carry out this type of task, nor does it get involved in the development of new elements that can generate progress in this area, the world will suffer stagnation.
Women who have marked a milestone in the world of ICT
Examples of women who have marked a milestone in New Technologies
According to a LinkedIn study, between 2006 and 2016 the role of women in the world of technology only increased by 18%, that is to say 1.8% annually, almost nothing in the eyes of statesmen, but in a world whose digital gender gap is so wide, there has been progress and this is demonstrated by the following 5 women.
Susan Wojcicki: If you don’t know this name, we recommend that you Google it. She is the Executive Director of Youtube, has held this position since 2014 and has made sure that the famous video platform is free of disturbing and misleading content.
Marcela Velasco: A Mexican who has become a benchmark for the world of technology. She is in charge of the mobile phone brand Telcel and has done an incredible job at the marketing level, positioning this network as the favorite in all of Mexico.
Ruth Porat: She is the Financial Director of Google and Alphabet Inc , and in a very few years she has already managed to reduce the level of expenses of this technological monster, achieving that in 2016 Google had an income margin of 90 million dollars.
Sheryl Sandberg: This woman carved her own niche in the world of technology, she has worked at Google and today is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook . She is recognized as one of the most influential people on the web, which is why she has written several books such as Let’s Go Ahead: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (2013) and Option B: Facing Adversity, Developing Resilience, and Reaching Happiness (2017).
Angela Ahrendts: This is the Apple executive, in charge of overseeing the brand’s retail stores, to ensure sales, customer service and feedback from the public. In short, it is in charge of creating an entire experience for the consumer.
What to do to celebrate International Girls in ICT Day?
Every year, companies, governments and even schools, develop a series of activities that seek to interest girls in the world in ICT. Some of the programs include robotics development, awakening skills in graphic design, gamification, or even web programming.
Other events promote talks by successful women in the world of technology, so that young women feel identified and inspired by these keyboard heroines. And there are even developers who generate programs and applications, to awaken a legitimate interest in girls and thus help them develop the skills they will need in the future.