TEAC Conference Report Dec. 2015 - Page 11

Workshop on gender equality Moderated by: Dr. Clem Herman (The Open University, UK) Speakers: Dr. Clem Herman, Ana Gonzales Ramos (Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Spain) and Vladimir Lelicanin (SAE Institute Belgrade, Serbia) Issue: Neither the education nor the ICT sector seem sufficiently prepared adequately to recruit, retain and promote women into ICT jobs, since gender inequalities are still present. for women (e.g. introduce role models, adapt class schedules to mothers, etc.) More training is needed to telecentres staff on the existence of « subconscious gender bias» (the preconceived ideas we share and through which we tend to classify others). • We need to also rethink the access barriers to enter ICT trainings or professions. These are often very high and this prevents women who come from other fields to enter the profession at a later stage. Conclusions and recommendations: • Already successful inclusion strategies for women in ICT careers range from introducing role models and mentors, to creating code clubs and campaigns dedicated to girls and IT. Many communities have been formed, to mention some like Women in Tech or Girl Geeks. • Recent research shows that parents are the biggest influencers of career decision making of their children, so involving them in projects is important. • More collaboration is needed with schools and formal education, as these are the initial places where children can learn about ICT careers. • It is important to raise awareness on the difference between the skills needed for ICT users and skills for ICT professionals. Women are advancing well in the first set of skills, but are lagging behind in the second. We need to promote the fact that ICT professionals are needed in most sectors of the economy, and are not exclusive to the ICT sector. • A checklist or guideline may be created on what to have in mind when organizing ICT trainings • In order to make these careers more attractive to women, we can stress their advantages, such as the flexibility they offer in terms of work organization but also the fact that these careers are creating enormous value for society, are innovative and creative. • We need to promote success stories of women who made it in IT, for example, former training participants who set up their own business or who have developed a career in the ICT field. What did people say on Twitter? 11