And if digitalisation is accelerating, the technology sector must keep pace with its growth in order to serve businesses.. In Europe, 64% of large companies and 56% of SMEs have significants problems finding and recruiting talent.. The digital talent shortage is becoming one of the most important challenges for technology companies, but also for all those that do not want to be left behind in their journey towards digital transformation. On top of this, we must add the gender gap in the technology sector, a reality that we should not ignore. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professional field, unlike other sectors, continues to be a path full of obstacles for women and girls are aware of this from an early age. Only 30% of women in the world study STEM careers. This percentage drops to 3% in careers related to information and communication technologies or 8% in engineering careers.
For this reason, it is essential to have female role models to help break down barriers, but also to work to ensure that the incorporation of women into the technology sector is even more successful than that of men.
At Telefónica we are aware of our responsibility to advance towards a more egalitarian, diverse, inclusive and fair world. For this reason, we are working on initiatives to promote the presence of women and young people in STEM careers and in the field of entrepreneurship. It is important that we all do our part to reverse the current situation of under-representation and build the foundations for a future in which there is effective gender equality. During 2021, Telefónica has been part of 52 initiatives to promote female entrepreneurship and to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers. Initiatives launched by Telefónica Tech such as #LadyHacker and, most of them, global group initiatives such as “Women in Leadership”, a professional career acceleration programme, or the “Empowering Women”, aimed at all women in the company and that delves into female leadership, the keys and barriers faced by women who want to lead. A commitment that, both from Telefónica Foundation and Profuturo, brings innovation and passion for technology closer to the youngest, no matter where they live. In addition, we have joined the STEAM Alliance for Female Talent “Girls in Science”, promoted by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of Spain, through the Telefónica Open Innovation Campus. #LadyHacker is a Telefónica Tech project that aims to make the role of women in technology more visible and to raise awareness among our girls about their potential to study STEM careers. Our goal is to inspire both boys and girls and young people with an interest in the world of technology and encourage them to break gender stereotypes.
This is a wonderful initiative, but it is only one. We must multiply it and work together so that our daughters, our nieces, girls in general, who dream of becoming astronauts, engineers, mathematicians… do not change their dream because of stereotypes, pre-established roles or insecurities.
Did you know that, according to several studies, girls lose interest in technology, science and mathematics when they reach their teenage years? Let’s change this!