3rd edition Role Models Masterclass 2021 by Women in Tech Netherlands
Women in Tech Netherlands invites you for the 3rd edition of the Role Models Masterclass!
For context, there is a shortage! There is a major issue for both the current and future jobs market: Europe could face a shortage of up to 500,000 skilled ICT workers by 2020 (European Commission). Women only make up 30% of Europe’s ICT workforce. According to CBS research, in the Netherlands, for example, only 7% of women graduate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) higher education compared to 30% of men.
In addition, data from the World Economic Forum (2020) indicates that nearly every company will become a digital company in the near future if they are not already one today. The COVID-19 global pandemic has in fact accelerated this process of transformation. As more processes become automated, for example, the tasks performed in administrative and office roles, which are mostly executed by women today, will be displaced. Lastly, there needs to be more diversity in the development of new technology. For example, we want to train computers and utilize machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology that is developed by both women and men to ensure that AI not only acts ‘the way men think’ but rather represents our society holistically and in its entirety.
So, what is the solution? We believe it is to inspire both girls and women for a career in technology to reduce the shortage on the ICT workforce and ensure diversity in the digital transformation of our society. However, we are facing a challenge.
The challenge, is that research indicates that women give up on technology at age 14, and those who do get started with a career in tech lose interest when they encounter a lack of diversity and inspiration. The main reasons are:
– There is a lack of role models
– Lack of stimulation by parents (for younger girls)
– Misconceptions about social interaction and creativity in tech jobs.
We strongly believe that role models are an especially important part of the solution and are necessary to inspire future female leaders for a career in technology!