RO100 Cafe: Gender parity in tech and digital: a strategic priority

The Romania 100 Platform supports women participation in the tech & digital sectors. An increase in women's participation within the tech sector will provide a major boost to the economy, and could be an efficient solution to national workforce shortages in IT&C & digital sectors, given the exodus of Romanian specialists abroad. These are some of the conclusions drawn at the RO100 Cafe #digital community’s event,  “The Digital Future and Gender Parity in IT - a Strategic Priority”, that was recently held in Bucharest and focused on women's participation in the digital economy.

According to the participants, Romania has to join European and global efforts to involve more women in the tech & digital sectors, amid growing demand for specialists and policies to reduce gender disparities in key economic areas.

Beyond the ethical perspective, encouraging girls’ participation in digital domains is an economically needed measure. If more women chose a STEM career, they would provide a solution to a global problem: the lack of workforce in this area. Also, we are talking about the jobs of the future, we must keep in mind that we cannot leave half of the population behind,” said Diana Popp, co-founder of Smart Everything Everywhere (SEE40).

The Romanian economy could benefit from an increased number of women in the IT&C & digital sectors, but training programs and development opportunities are still needed.

Even if Romania is perceived as a country with IT competencies, skilled people are leaving. Many specialists in many professional areas choose to practice abroad, especially in IT and health sectors. Moreover, we need to accelerate the training and specialization process so that we have not only IT services providers, but also creators and creative professionals who can create added value in Romania," said Dacian Ciolos, co-founder of the Romania Together Movement (RO+) and the Romania 100 Platform, a civic movement that supports citizen initiatives developed by local and thematic communities.

A first step to address the need for workforce in professional areas with major potential for Romania could be the creation of alternative training centers.

New technologies are an important asset: this is an area where innovation can be enhanced, adding value with relatively small investments. We need to focus on creating educational hubs in certain areas of the country. Thus, the entrepreneurial, academic and economic environments can meet,Dacian Ciolos added. He noted that the digital sector is one of the main priorities of the RO+ political program.

In Romania, one of the ambitious initiatives to increase the number of women in the digital domain is the Everygirl Everywhere (EE) project, developed by SEE40 with the support of the Everygirl Alliance. EE aims to promote digital skills for women while challenging stereotypes, to grow the IT industry and IT workforce, and to build up Romania’s leverage within the EU by exporting sustainable and replicable good practices in closing the gender gap in the digital sector.

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