The ECWT and the National Point of Contacts (N-PoC) actively participate in the key initiative and campaign of the European Commission: support for signing of the Code of Best Practices for Women and ICT.
The European Commission has already in year 2007 decided to do something about the growing concern for the expected shortage of 300,000 qualified engineers in the European Union by 2010 and the fact that fewer than one of five computer scientists are women. The Commission began a dialog encouraging telecom and internet companies to attract more women to the ICT sector. The Code of Best Practices signed the 3rd of March 2009 by Alcatel-Lucent, Imec, the Orange-France Telecom Group, Microsoft and Motorola is the first set of practical initiatives to enhance women's experience in ICT careers.
The code includes a set of initiatives adopted by the companies and include mentoring programmes during maternity leave that will help women keep up to date with the latest technology developments, practical help in balancing family and work-life including flexible working hours and home working, ICT forums to offer women support on job searches.etc.
The code also sets targets for the recruitment and promotion of female ICT professionals and shows good examples of how to attract more girls to schools and university and from there into the high-tech sector.
"The signing of this Code of Best Practices is a first step towards making high-tech jobs cool for girls and getting more women into the ICT sector. I congratulate those companies that today have the courage and conviction to commit to this code, that will enrich the ICT sector by making it more female-friendl" said Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media (2004-2008) at the launch of the initiative.
The Commissions press release: