'The Digital Agenda is the key to Europe's Future and Every Woman Digital is the key to the success of the Digital Agenda!' Eva Fabry, Director of the ECWT
The 17th of June 2011 was the big day towards a Gender Action Plan for the Digital Agenda! ECWT Members actively promoted the ideas proposed in the ECWT Position Paper for Lining up for a GAP of the Digital Agenda.
Workshop 22 Women for Smart Growth was a good mixture of public and private actors, academia and NGOs from mainly Europe and some from the US and Australia. The workshop was opened by MEP Marietje Schaake, who the day before chaired Workshop 7 on Social networks.
Workshop moderator Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director Portia, Project Manager of the genSET project and one of the key organizers behind the 1st European Gender Summit the 8-9 November 2011, emphasized in her introductory speech that the Roadmap for making the Digital Agenda more inclusive has to
•Build on the Budapest Conference and the Budapest IWD Centenary Declaration 2011
•Build on successful infrastructure and initiatives (e.g. ECWT, Code, Shadowing, genSET recommendations)
•Integrate relevant priorities from DAA
•Integrate relevant EU R&D and equality policy directives
•Engage national and EU key players/stakeholders
•Target specific gains and added value
•Demonstrate ‘losses’ if no action is taken!
Thereafter the workshop tackled the eight focus areas of the proposed Gender Action Plan for the Digital Agenda, and formulated concrete recommendations to the European Commission on how to actively take forward the shared agendas.
Eva Fabry, Director of the ECWT stressed that "minimum 50% of the success of delivering the Digital Agenda will depend on whether the European Commission will find ways and means of integrating a critical mass of women in Europe into the access, design, research, innovation, production and use of ICT during 2011-2020.
Lining up for the Gender Action Plan for the Digital Agenda will deliver One Million Girls to ICT in Europe by 2020!
Through adding a Gender Action Plan to the Digital Agenda our ultimate goal is to spread diversity, to make the knowledge society more inclusive, so that all of us can become our own leaders and contribute to making the world a better place and totally digital!"
Finally talking about what will happen if no action is taken, Eva Fabry pointed out that "if no action or only Action 60 is taken, the Commission is definitely not going to deliver what it is aiming to achieve with the Digital Agenda!
At present in the Digital Agenda context women are mentioned in connection with one of the eight Action areas ‘Action 6 Enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion: The digital era should be about empowerment and emancipation’ and one ‘Other action’ is proposed: The Commission will: Promote a higher participation of young women and women returners in the ICT workforce through support for web-based training resources, game based eLearning and social networking (Action Nr 60)’.
A GAP for the Digital Agenda is not just about helping women to succeed and getting more women into ICT, but creating a new culture where in Europe both men and women can succeed and create an economic growth for Europe!"
In the afternoon plenary session Elizabeth Pollitzer presented the conclusions of Workshop 22 Women for Smart Growth as follows:
Every Woman Digital = Smart Growth
New strategy to increase the integration of women into the science and technology workforce and within the Digital Agenda in order to strengthen Europe’s innovation potential, economy and social progress.
Need to break stereotypes via role models and mentoring.
50% of the population are women. Women will make smart growth possible. There is no place for gender equality fatigue!
Priorities set for the Gender Action Plan – Deadline June 2012
Demand that leaders
1. promote human capital and invest in women
2. enforce better management based on diversity indicators
3. promote a gender sensitive DA
4. adopt best practices and role models
5. invest early in young people
6. monitor and report progress in Gender Equality