Women in tech in Europe – the perks, the problems, the numbers

Nina Fowler 2013-10-07 1

Open Knowledge Festival

Women working in tech in Europe earn more, enjoy more flexible conditions and experience a smaller gender pay gap than counterparts in other sectors.

That’s according to “Women Active in the ICT Sector”, a study carried out for the European Commission that analyses the gender gap in ICT in Europe and suggests ways to fix it. Most of the numbers in the final report are grim; a few are surprisingly positive. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Out of 1000 women with a bachelor degree in Europe, only 29 hold a degree in ICT and only four go on to work in ICT. Out of 1000 men with a bachelor degree in Europe, 95 hold a degree in ICT and 20 go on to work in ICT.
  • Women working in ICT earn almost nine per cent more than women in similar positions in non-ICT service sectors.
  • Women in ICT enjoy increased flexibility when arranging their time schedules compared to peers in other sectors but also report feeling less satisfied at work.
  • Only 19.2 per cent of workers in the ICT sector have female bosses compared to 45.2 per cent of those in other sectors.
  • Women make up 19.2 per cent of entrepreneurs in ICT but make up 53.9 per cent of entrepreneurs in non-ICT service sectors.
Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap in ICT may be less significant than in other sectors. Women working in ICT earn on average 21 per cent less than men – that compares to a 16 per cent gap in other sectors and a 12 per cent gap in the non-ICT service sector. But, when adjusted for age, education, occupation and other factors, the gap drops to about zero within ICT. In other words, most women in ICT work lower positions with smaller wages but, if they do nab a more qualified position, they’ll receive the same wage as male counterparts.  

The report – among other recommendations – suggests campaigns to boost the image of the sector among young people and in particular women (and their parents), increase the visibility of role models and create an annual survey for the best place in Europe to work for women in ICT.

It also suggests asking the European Commission’s statistics office to collect better data for women researchers (number of patents, number of female heads of departments at universities etc), women in managerial positions and wages for women in ICT.

 Image credit: Open Knowledge Festival 2012 – Flickr user Daniel Schildt

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