The respective awards are destined for Europe’s very first Digital Girl of the Year, Digital Woman of the Year and Digital Impact Organisation of the Year. The awards will be presented by EU Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes at ICT 2013, Europe’s largest ICT event, on 8 November in Vilnius, Lithuania.
This is an initiative of Zen Digital Europe, in partnership with CEPIS, DIGITALEUROPE, the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) and EUSchoolNET.
For VP Kroes, greater participation of women and girls in ICT is a critical factor in addressing Europe’s widening digital skills gap which could result in as many as one million ICT jobs going unfilled by 2015. Bridging this gap is at the heart of the Grand Coalition initiative Kroes launched with three other European Commissioners in March of this year.
Regarding the opportunity presented by digitally skilled girls and women, Kroes asks, “why couldn’t half of those jobs be filled by women?”
Today, everything from music production to scientific research has a digital component. According to Cheryl Miller, ZEN Digital Europe’s founder,“it’s essential that we get the messages out that ICT isn’t just for boys, and that girls and women have a critical role in bridging Europe’s ICT skills gap in many strategic sectors.”