Attracting more girls to ICT
While the ICT sector has made some headway in terms of gender equality in the last decade or so, it continues to be male dominated, especially at senior levels. This is a serious problem, as our sector is facing a pressing need for new talent. For example, the European Commission has predicted a skills gap of more than 500,000 ICT jobs in Europe by 2020. One of the key reasons for this is that there are currently not enough students – male or female – choosing to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects at colleges and universities around the world. And the number of female technical students, while rising in some countries, continues to be disproportionately low.
International Girls in ICT Day
Ericsson is a longtime supporter of International Girls in ICT Day, the purpose of which is to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. We know that perceptions about which careers are possible or “appropriate” for girls/women are established at a very early age, which means we must catch the attention of the young early on.
Connect to Learn is one of the concrete ways that we are working to support the education of women and girls. We strongly encourage girls to study STEM subjects that will prepare them for employment in the ICT sector. Gender diversity is important for us not only for business reasons but also because we know that jobs in the ICT sector have significant potential to help in the achievement of SDG 5 (gender equality and female empowerment).
Girls Who Innovate competition
Ericsson has been involved in Girls in ICT Day for many years, with hundreds of dedicated Ericsson volunteers working hard to catch the interest of the young and promote the Ericsson employer brand. For the second consecutive year, a global team with representatives from business areas, market areas and group functions are honoring the day by launching the Girls Who Innovate competition, a junior version of the Ericsson Innovation Awards. This year’s theme is The Future of Education. Because who is better equipped than children to envision what’s to come?
In this year’s competition, we are inviting girls between the ages of 9 and 18 to share their thoughts about the future of education with us. The deadline for submissions is May 25, when regional juries will start the process of identifying regional winners in three age categories. The regional finalists will be announced on June 5, and during the week of June 11-15 all employees will be invited to vote for their favorite ideas. The global winners will be announced on June 20. Winners will be awarded job-shadow days, opportunities to blog on behalf of Ericsson and a €1,000 prize to be used for educational purposes.
According to the Girls in ICT Day website, more than 300,000 girls and young women have taken part in over 9,000 International Girls in ICT Day celebrations in 166 countries worldwide to date. If you haven’t already, join in the effort of introducing the younger generation to the endless opportunities within ICT. Be a role model and show the way – we can all do something to contribute!
Find out more about our diversity and inclusion strategy and activities in our latest Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report!