IT Companies Sign Code of Best Practices on Women and ICT

On 3rd March 2009 during the Cyberella’s are IT! conference in Brussels, five major ICT companies signed a Code of Best Practices on Women and ICT. By signing the Code, Alcatel-Lucent, IMEC, Orange France Telecom Group, Microsoft and Motorola pledge to attract more women to careers in ICT as a key solution to the current economic crisis and the shortage of qualified ICT professionals in Europe predicted by 2010.

The Code is divided into four areas of best practices:

  1. Education: the aim of this area is to attract more women to study and work in the ICT field through the organisation of events, job shadowing, and information days in schools, universities and other tertiary education institutions.
  2. Recruitment: this section addresses practices aiming to ensure that women with ICT-related degrees have concrete recruitment and career development opportunities. It includes increasing transparency in the recruitment process and adopting active measures to augment the representation of women at managerial levels.
  3. Career Development: this area aims to promote the career prospects of female ICT professionals and encourages them to acquire technical and managerial skills through Competence Development programmes, as well as through assessing the specific needs and challenges of mid to long-term career plans.
  4. Return to work after leave: this section highlights the importance of encouraging female ICT professionals to return to work after periods of leave as well as encouraging women working in other sectors to consider a career in the ICT sector.

The European Commission will monitor the implementation of the Code in 2010. By then, Commissioner Viviane Reding hopes that more female professionals will be engaged in the ICT sector and will also have a more significant representation at executive and managerial levels.

Click here to read the full version of the Code of Best Practices on Women and ICT.

Click here for more information about the EC initiatives for Women and ICT.