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EU countries celebrate first European Girls and Women in ICT day

The first annual European Girls and Women in ICT day takes place on 22 April 2021, as a part of the commitment EU countries made in the Ministerial Declaration on Women in Digital of 9 April, 2019.
In this first edition, several member states have organised online events to showcase the opportunities and challenges for girls and women to study technology, enter and stay in the job market of the digital sector, despite a difficult year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Events include Girls Day in Slovakia, Girls Day in the Czech Republic, Girls Day in Germany, Women in Digital in Latvia, Women in Digital Empowerment in Luxembourg, amongst others. The topics focus on the specific national challenges and solutions ranging from vocational training to professional challenges, and boosting well-being at work in the digital sector.  

Digital skills gap

Demand for advanced digital skills continues to increase across the EU, but there is a stark shortage of ICT experts. According to the EU Digital Society and Economy Index (2020), 64% of large enterprises and 56% of SMEs that recruited ICT specialists during 2018, reported that vacancies for ICT specialists are hard to fill.

Women account for 52% of the European population, and yet are still less likely to have specialist digital skills and work in this field compared to men, as only 18% of ICT specialists in the EU are women, according to the EU Women in Digital Scoreboard for 2020. Increasing women's visibility and empowerment in the digital economy would drive economic growth and wider social progress. While every country has its specificity, the European Day for Girls and Women in ICT highlights the issues and the potential solutions, raising awareness of the opportunities this fast-paced sector offers

Background

The Girls in ICT Day, marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April, by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) highlights the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in the world's fastest growing sector.

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