Feeds

Tech industry outlines women's day initiatives

Launches F_email

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Cisco has jumped on Thursday's International Women's Day bandwagon with the launch of F_email - a project to improve women's technology skills.

The network and communications giant believes women, particularly in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America "all have one thing in common: a desire to improve their IT skills and reap the benefits that empowerment can deliver."

Improving technology skills is seen by the firm as a method of empowerment for women in societies where a gender imbalance is common, and Cisco's Networking Academy program has educated more than two million students in tech skills from 165 countries over the last nine years.

To date, Cisco said it has invested in a Linksys Digital Home and Small Business project with Dubai Women's College; Cisco's F_email project in Hungary, Serbia and Turkey; and work with the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in the Middle East and Africa.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is concerned that the proportion of women graduates in information and communications technology (ICT) in Europe is falling, especially compared to other regions of the world.

To promote women's careers in ICT on International Women's Day, the commission presented six video diaries of young women on Thursday who were given the chance to accompany a successful female engineer or technologist for a day.

"Getting more women into ICT careers would be a force for change and a major boost for this key economic sector in Europe", said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media in Brussels.

"With Europe facing a skills shortage in this sector, we must encourage more women to study ICT subjects and to take up a career in this field, so as to increase capacity of the workforce and to tap into women's creative potential."

The commission said the ICT sector contributes 5.3 per cent of the EU's GDP and four per cent of its jobs. However, by 2010 it expects a shortfall of 300,000 qualified ICT staff.

Although computer studies graduates across the EU's 27 member states grew by 133 per cent from 1998 to 2004, Europe is actually falling behind comparably. In 1998 computing graduates accounted for 2.3 per cent of all graduates in the EU-27, by 2004 it had increased to four per cent. In the US it rose from 2.3 per cent to five per cent and in South Korea from one per cent to six per cent.

For women the statistics are even worse. The proportion of women computer graduates fell from 25 per cent in 1998 to 22 per cent in 2006. In other regions of the world the percentage is higher: Canada (27 per cent), the US (28 per cent), and South Korea (38 per cent).

The proportion of women working in ICT varies widely across the EU from six per cent in Luxembourg to 41 per cent in Lithuania. The commission pointed out that of those women who enter ICT careers, many often drop out or move to a different career. Also, fewer women make it to senior management positions, particularly in the ICT sector.

Around two thirds of telecommunications companies have no women on their board of directors, and in 14 major ICT companies, less than 10 per cent of board members are women.

BT, Cisco, Infineon, Motorola and Nokia are all taking part in the EU's pilot programme to allow young women to shadow a female role model in her work for a day.

A separate European Commission study on Women in the ICT sector has just begun and the findings are expected October 2007.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.