Publish in core platform
Digital technology / specialisationDigital skills
Digital skill levelBasic
Geographic Scope - CountryMalta
Type of initiative
Article by Bernadette Zerafa published in the Malta Independent on Sunday on 12th March 2023
In society, the home, and the workplace, men and women have traditionally had different roles. Women have frequently been denied the chance to alter their unequal status in society. Despite the fact that society is continually changing, there is still a considerable gender gap that has had a negative impact on the labour market.
Only about 17% of Europe’s almost 8 million IT specialists are women at the moment. The demand for STEM workers is anticipated to increase by 8% between 2013 and 2025, whereas the average growth projection for all occupations is 3%. Replacement personnel must be taught because the ICT workforce is rapidly ageing.
This is indeed one of the primary national (and indeed European) problems. Making the contribution of our digital economy to women more effective is one of the key goals of the eSkills Malta Foundation. To this end, since 2016, the Foundation has been working on a number of projects and initiatives to aid women in the ICT industry. One of the first tasks was to organise a focus group of female participants. Women from the ICT industry, digital marketing, digital entrepreneurs, and other professionals are represented in the focus group. This focus group was established to spread awareness and promote the hiring of more women in the IT industry.
The Women in ICT working group’s establishment did not mark the end of the Foundation’s endeavors. It works tirelessly to support women in IT. In order to encourage local employers in the digital sector in changing their management style and disseminating best practices from international efforts, guidelines had to be developed (Guidelines for increasing and retaining women in ICT). The Foundation also identified a different need that was being expressed by national stakeholders. Research was conducted to examine the gender gap in SMEs, public administration, and the Technology and telecom industries.
The Foundation works tirelessly to encourage young women to pursue STEM fields that could ultimately lead to IT careers. In 2019 Malta joined a group of 26 nations that signed the Women in Digital Declaration to support the advancement of women in the technology and digital industries. The Foundation considers it has a duty to make an effort to resolve this issue. It makes a lot of effort to enhance involvement by girls and women in the digital industry and other industries relevant to the digital economy in Malta. In 2020 the Foundation organised several online events that were aimed towards women in various groupings. The events featured workshops, short courses, digital skills sessions, and related activities. The events were intended for girls (ages 15 to 24), women (ages 24 and above), female teachers, girls and women with special needs, women who are not in training or employment, and female entrepreneurs and self-employed people. Females of all ages showed up to each event to the extent that some of the gatherings had waiting lists. This motivates the Foundation to carry out and support similar initiatives in the future.
The Foundation is strongly motivated to increase women’s interest in science and engineering majors and ICT jobs by increasing the representation of women in the ICT industry. It’s efforts will never stop, but it will speed up in order to support and collaborate with the necessary players and raise Malta even higher among Europe’s digital elite.