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CHAPTER 3

The Gender Gap: From Classroom to
Boardroom

 

Only 17 women have won a Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry or medicine since Marie Curie in 1903, compared to 572 men. 

The largest gender gaps in education are found in STEM studies, and in most European countries the proportion of females going on to pursue a career in STEM is still alarmingly low. Various studies show that closing the gender gap in STEM will have a positive impact on economic growth and could lead to an additional 1.2 million jobs in Europe.4 Additionally, the European Institute for Gender Equality has revealed it could lead to an improvement in GDP by €610-820 billion in 2050.5

Key stats on the gender gap:

In most European countries, women are significantly under-represented in ICT – with very few studying it and then moving into related fields

3%

Globally, women account for just 3% of ICT graduates 

0.029%

In Europe, only 29 out of 1,000 female graduates have a degree in computing in 2015, and only four go on to have ICT careers6 

28%

Today, only 28% of the world’s researchers are women

 

4 Economic Benefits of Gender Equality - study by the European Institute for Gender Equality
5 Economic Benefits of Gender Equality - study by the European Institute for Gender Equality
6 European Union: Women in Digital

Engaging Girls in STEM

Biases and gender stereotyping play a big part in widening the gender gap in STEM, and these are common from the classroom to the boardroom. Key influences come from family and peers, the education environment, media and cultural beliefs. And the impact is that girls appear to lose interest in STEM subjects with age, particularly between early and late adolescence.

At CA Technologies, we are taking active steps to help remove gender stereotypes in education, raise awareness and understanding of STEM subjects to girls and women through role models and provide real-life insights into STEM careers. 

“Our female role models enable young girls to imagine what it is like to work in stem.

– Silke Jung, Senior People Business Partner, CA Technologies

Ecological framework of factors influencing girls’ and women’s participation, achievement and progression in STEM studies:

Source: Unesco, Ecological Framework of Factors Influencing Girls’ and Women’s Participation, Achievement and Progression in STEM Studies 

Understanding STEM Careers:

Female Role Models We believe that female role models can enhance girls’ confidence and motivation to improve their understanding of STEM careers. In response, CA Technologies became a founding sponsor of ‘People Like Me’ Goes Digital in 2017. Created by the WISE campaign, People Like Me is designed to attract more girls into STEM subjects and careers. The programme uses the natural tendency of girls to articulate their selfidentity using adjectives, and works to show them that people like them are happy and successful working in careers in STEM. 

Girls Can Create Tomorrow event hosted by CA Technologies UKI together with Barclays, Amazon Web Services and ASOS, September 201

To help girls learn more about careers in STEM and engage with female role models, CA Technologies UKI, together with employees from ASOS, Barclays and Amazon Web Services, joined forces to deliver Girls Can Create Tomorrow. Scores of secondary school female students from local schools were welcomed to the full-day event by Otto Berkes, chief technology officer, CA Technologies, before taking part in interactive workshops followed by a People Like Me session. CA Technologies also ran a coding workshop using BBC Microbits, where students learnt basic coding skills in Python.

We believe in inspiring the next generation of technical minds. Collaborating with CA Technologies on the Girls Can Create Tomorrow event provided us with a brilliant opportunity to help the girls understand the role that technology can play in creating amazing customer experiences, as well as seeing that they too can have a fulfilling career in tech.

– Winnie Awa, Platform Lead - Customer Experience, ASOS

Raising Awareness in Society

To raise awareness of the lack of girls in STEM studies alongside the under-representation of women in the technology industry, CA Technologies Italy together with CSR partner Fondazione Sodalitas and analyst company NetConsulting cube, hosted a press event and panel discussion in Milan on International Women’s Day. At the event, results from a study were released titled Women and Digital Transformation: a Winning Combination7, which revealed future job opportunities in the app economy – and highlighted the urgent need for more women to be active in ICT. 

For companies today, the ability to cultivate and attract STEM talent is vital to compete in the increasingly digital economy. But the research shows that there is a huge gap between supply and demand, and the scarcity of women threatens the capacity to innovate. That is why it is our priority to take part in initiatives that give young people a clear idea about future STEM careers, and encourage girls to enter these fields.

– Daniela Avignolo, People Business Partner, CA Technologies Italy

Removing the Boardroom Barriers

Even if young women do manage to overcome these initial barriers, and excel in STEM subjects, they are often daunted by the prospect of being the only girl pursuing a STEM career, as well as by the possibility of workplace barriers. Globally, and across industry, the number of women on corporate boards has risen to 12%. It has been found, that companies with at least one woman board member perform 10% better than companies without women board members.8

A diverse workforce is crucial to innovation, and it is only by working together that businesses can drive meaningful change in the technology industry. At CA Technologies, we are committed to attracting, retaining and developing diverse talent, and having recently become a founding signatory of the Tech Talent Charter strengthens our commitment to address the gender imbalance in the technology industry

7 Infographic is in Italian
8 The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Value for Europe

Inspiring the Innovators of Tomorrow

Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe - Create Tomorrow

Chapter 2

The STEM Skills Gap: Making the Connections

Chapter 4

Skills for a Future-proof Europe