The EU’s Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will attend the G20 digital economy ministerial meeting in Salta, Argentina this week (23-24 August), with the aim of promoting the EU’s gender equality agenda in digital affairs.
Pursuing gender equality in the digital sector has been a central tenet to Commissioner Gabriel’s agenda during her time in the commission. Projects such as the Digital4Her strategy and the No Women No Panel campaign attempt to encourage more women to take up senior roles in the sector.
A commission study published earlier this year showed that women held just 21.5% of jobs in the tech sector in 2015 and that there are four times more men than women in Europe with IT-related academic qualifications.
An annual productivity loss of approximately €16.2 billion was also calculated as a result of women leaving their jobs in the digital sector.
June 2018’s Digital4Her conference in Brussels managed to secure the commitment of a wide range of European CEO’s in transforming the tech landscape to be more inclusive and diverse, as they signed up to a declaration that called upon corporate leaders to create an ‘inclusive business eco-system open to all.’
A gender-balanced #DigitalEU needs concrete steps toward the shaping of an inclusive business eco-system open to all. Our #WiDDeclaration acknowledges the gender gap present in the digital sector and the signatory #CEOs commit to turn the tendency around. https://t.co/Vg5Z22d7Qt pic.twitter.com/AC7V2txU6C
— Mariya Gabriel (@GabrielMariya) August 14, 2018
Gabriel will join G20 partners to discuss a range of other issues including the impact of digital transformation on global development and e-government practices. The meeting will also offer the opportunity for a presentation of Europe’s digital performance and global competitive clout, amid an industry that is economically dominated by US firms.
The subject of a tighter regulatory environment for digital companies is also on the table and is likely to cause a stir for American representatives, after the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion in July for breaching antitrust laws.