Empowering Women in ICT: Insights and Tips from the Femin-ICT Initiative

Empowering Women in ICT: Insights and Tips from the Femin-ICT Initiative

The Femin-ICT initiative, financed by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union, has successfully completed its mission to address gender disparities in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Conducted by seven partners from six EU countries, this innovative initiative has thoroughly examined the obstacles, barriers, and legal gaps impeding the progress of women in ICT careers. Going beyond mere identification, the project aims to furnish a practical roadmap, guiding European nations in taking tangible steps to attain gender equality in the ICT industry, aligning with the Digital Decade targets set for 2030.

FEMIN-ICT, initiated in February 2021 and concluding in February 2023, was designed to dismantle stereotypes and barriers within institutions that influence women’s participation in the ICT sector. The overarching goal was to equip the broader ICT ecosystem with the skills and knowledge necessary to empower women in ICT and integrate gender equality into all aspects of the industry. Key Initiatives:

  • Support for ICT Businesses:
    • Existing and potential employers in the ICT sector received support and training to cultivate a more inclusive working environment.
    • Business support ecosystems underwent training to enhance gender-responsive services, adopt effective gender communication and outreach strategies, and provide more effective support to women ICT entrepreneurs.
  • Empowerment Initiatives in Academic Institutions:
    • Academic institutions, municipalities, and prefectures underwent training to better design and implement women-friendly empowerment initiatives and structures.
    • Initiatives included upskilling programs, networking activities, co-working spaces, and community-led ICT projects.
  • Empowering Women in ICT Careers:
    • The initiative aimed to empower women to pursue and advance their careers in ICT, addressing challenges outlined in a report by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).
    • Focus on challenges such as gender stereotypes, lack of role models, and workplace obstacles.


The Femin-ICT consortium conducted extensive research, surveys, and activities in partner countries to understand the situation of women in the ICT sector. Key findings and recommendations for each country are as follows:


  • Belgium:
    • Address self-perceived limitations and internal doubts among women in ICT.
    • Implement flexible working hours, telecommuting, and socio-economic provisions.
    • Increase training funding and government support.
  • Cyprus:
    • Combat internalized misogyny and lack of role models.
    • Strengthen governmental support and initiatives.
    • Encourage systemic change, visible role models, and networking opportunities.
  • Italy:
    • Eliminate gender stereotypes in the ICT sector through structural changes.
    • Reshape recruitment and training methods.
    • Support startups and foster work-life balance.
  • Greece:
    • Address the “leaky pipeline phenomenon” by promoting women to higher positions.
    • Endorse work-life balance and engage men in efforts against sexism.
    • Collaborate for data gathering and implementation of laws.
  • Spain:
    • Tackle societal expectations and gender-based stereotypes.
    • Promote flexibility in work hours and knowledge of female role models.
    • Utilize external pressure, networking, and awareness campaigns.
  • Sweden:
    • Overcome obstacles like biased job ads and a lack of role models.
    • Clearly communicate tech career benefits to attract more women.


The Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030 also outlines the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030, which aims to achieve the European Union’s digital transformation. Specific targets include reaching 20 million ICT specialists and ensuring 80% of the 16-74 age group possesses basic digital skills. A comprehensive policy roadmap is proposed with recommendations and priorities for each partner country to enhance women’s representation in the ICT sector.

The Femin-ICT initiative stands as a beacon of progress in the journey towards gender equality in the ICT sector. By identifying, addressing, and proposing actionable solutions to legal gaps, barriers and challenges, this collaborative effort sets the stage for a more inclusive and diverse digital landscape in Europe. The provided roadmap and recommendations serve as a crucial guide for policymakers, businesses, and educational institutions to actively contribute to closing the gender gap in the ICT industry, paving the way for a more equitable and empowered future.