Mª Helena de Felipe

Necessary actions for reducing the women’s digital gap

The 10th edition – Meda Women Entrepreneurs Forum, on 2nd-3rd October -Amman- Jordan, is focused in “Women in Tech the way ahead” and from AFAEMME (Federation of Organizations of Businesswomen in the Mediterranean area), the AFAEMME is formed by more than 60 Business organizations of 23 different Mediterranean countries. The main objective of this Forum is to reach as far as possible to the Governments, Institutions, and Businesses in order to sensitize the relevance of Digital gender gap in our European and Mediterranean Societies.

From the European Economic Social Committee, we have been working on this issue and as part of the Civil Society we have some common goals to develop together but in these case the most important is promoting digitalization between our businesswomen and its businesses, getting to all the working areas.

There are some multiples causes of digital gender gap, and actions must therefore address different fields:

  • The education system from childhood to adulthood
  • The labour market.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Public services and the digital divide in general.

It is important to increase the number of women in STEM, but it is also essential to recognize the growing importance of soft skills in the digital age in each and every sectors. Interdisciplinary education and human-centred soft skills will be essential and education should take these aspects into consideration.

In education it is essential to ensure digital literacy and education for all, with a particular focus on girls to remove the digital gender gap at its roots, developing specific programmes for girls in these fields. Tteachers and trainers at all levels need to have the right tools to use ICT to teach, promoting a more inclusive and personalised education and training system.

Female entrepreneurship have to be supported, removing barriers to women’s access to self-employment. Smart working and teleworking should be monitored in order to keep away the risks of blurring of boundaries between care, work and private life.

In order to prevent the spiral of feminisation of poverty, fair working conditions and social protection, the social dialogue and collective bargaining have a fundamental role in this regard.

As Women Entrepreneurs Associations, we can contribute to encourage women´s participation in high-level and technically jobs, overcoming educational and professional barriers and stereotypes also as guaranteeing digital lifelong learning to prevent not only women’s exclusion from the labour market but also from our businesses.

Maria Helena de Felipe Lehonten


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