• Women are vital to capture the potential that technology and sustainability offers our future, write two McKinsey partners.

  • Currently, women hold only 17% of major technology jobs, including programming or software development.

  • There are three major solutions to the gender gap and job shortages: hiring for skills, not degrees; ubiquitous commitment to equal representation; tracking percentages of representation.

Copyright: weforum.org – “Why bringing women into tech roles is good for society”


Predicting the future is a perilous business, but we are certain that technology—particularly digital ones—and sustainability will do much to shape the future. Certainly, the European Union is betting on this: most of the €724 billion ($810 billion) COVID-19 recovery package is directed at these sectors. To capture their potential, however, a third element is necessary: women.

This is not just a matter of social equity. For companies to get the talent they need in the fields where they need it, women (who make up half the population) will have to play a substantive role. And right now, they are not.

According to Eurostat, women hold only 17% of major technology jobs, such as programming, systems analysis, or software development. And while they comprise 47% of environmental scientists, women comprise less than 20% of other major sustainability-related occupations, such as electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers.

No wonder there are significant talent shortages in Europe—on the order of 1.4 million technology jobs, and 2.4 million sustainability jobs, according to the OECD.

The future looks murky, too. Women students are greatly underrepresented in the degree categories that dominate the typical hiring pools in the sectors that will need to grow; for example, they make up only 20% of the graduates in the information and technology degree programs that form the main digital hiring pools for the technical roles of the future.

Making the matter even more critical, there is evidence that companies that do better at deploying female talent, do better in other important ways. Specifically, those with 30% or more women on their boards have 1.5 times better environmental scores, and four times the R&D investments of companies that have none.[…]

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Read more: www.weforum.org