Title GENDER-IT "Fostering Gender-Mainstreaming in VET for the ICT Sector "
Project Number 142701-LLP-2008-CY-LEONARDO-LNW
Project Type Networks
Country EU-Centralised Projects
Marketing Text The gender-IT project aims to contribute to innovative and attractive VET practices in the ICT sector in order to cover the existing gender gap with women accounting for less than 20% of computer systems designers, analysts and programmers in the EU27.
Summary The Gender-IT project is a two-year initiative co-funded by the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme, under the Leonardo da Vinci Action. It is implemented by seven partners from Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The Gender-IT project aims to contribute to innovative and attractive VET practices in the ICT sector. Its specific objective is to build a sustainable multistakeholder network at a European level which will actively foster gender mainstreaming in VET for the ICT sector.
Recent statistical data confirms a persisting high gender imbalance in ICT professions with women accounting for less than 20% of computer systems designers, analysts and programmers in the EU27. This means that women miss important employment opportunities in a sector that is driving European economic growth and highly depends on skilled workers and on consumers who take up technological innovation. Women also have comparatively little direct influence on the development of ICT tools and technology. Moreover, employers aiming to diversify their workforce have difficulties recruiting female ICT professionals. However, the ICT sector is “…one of the most potential ones for realizing gender equality, as it is based on new and emerging labour relations (non-traditional sector) and in urgent need for highly qualified personnel. ”
As technology is fast changing, arguably VET is better suited to fulfil ongoing training needs than longer, more theoretical university education. The integration of a gender dimension in Vocational Education and Training for the ICT sector is important in order to help redress the current gender imbalance. European policy makers have stated that “More attention should be paid … to the image, status and attractiveness of VET. This calls for … measures to increase the interest and participation of men or women in those VET fields in which they remain under-represented, for instance women in the technology field” .
While the EU, its member states and social partners have launched a series of policies, Action Plans, programmes and initiatives that aim to improve e-skills of the European citizens , most of these initiatives do not explicitly address the gender imbalance among professionals ICT sector nor focus on gender-mainstreaming in VET. Action to promote ICT careers to women has been rather piecemeal through individual studies, projects or initiatives at national, European or international level. Based on its preliminary research and the practical experience of the partners, the consortium has thus identified the need for a comprehensive European resource centre for gender mainstreaming in VET for the ICT sector. VET providers and stakeholders must have access to good practices and tools to encourage the increased participation of women in VET for ICT careers.
Information and Communication
The project aims to produce the folloing outcomes:
(1) Create a comprehensive, virtual resource centre on gender mainstreaming in VET for the ICT sector at European level
(2) Promote good practices and innovative approaches in VET for the ICT sector regarding gender mainstreaming
(3) Identify trends of gender mainstreaming in VET for the ICT sector and resulting impacts on VET practice
(4) Raise awareness, inform and engage stakeholders and women Expand the network, exploit its results and set the basis for sustainability.