WOMEN IN THE DIGITAL SECTOR in the Region Nouvelle Aquitaine – France – Regional Observatory of professional equality between women and men
BLOG, DIGITALIZATION, EMPLOYMENT, EQUALITY, FRANCE
Main results of the survey conducted in 2021 by Cap Métiers for the DRDFE and the Region.
Regional context of the sector
With 37,000 jobs in the digital sector, the New Aquitaine region ranks 6th in France. Digital jobs are concentrated in urban areas.
All jobs combined, the digital sector will account for more than 7,000 new hires, excluding temporary work,in 2020. The digital professions are not very feminised, with 23% of women in the sector (in IT, telecommunications and related services or service provision in the digital domain: expertise, consulting, graphic, design graphic design, etc.).
In order to shed light on the reasons for this low gender mix, Cap Métiers Nouvelle Aquitaine1 conducted, at the request of the DRDFE (Regional Directorate for Women’s Rights and Equality) and the Region, a gendered survey on the orientation processes of those enrolled in higher digital training.
Based on the observation that girls are losing out on higher education in the sciences, even though they represent almost half of the students in their final year of secondary school, this study aims to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of orientation towards training and careers in the digital sector, and in particular the reasons for the defection of women from the post- baccalaureate.
The aim is to analyse the extent to which gender may have influenced the motivations, choices and expectations of people in higher education in the digital sector.
Target : More than 1500 people enrolled in 21 digital higher digital training (in the field of: general purpose computing, big data, artificial intelligence, interactive digital media and games, cyber security ).
17% women in the panel surveyed.
Study of the impact of gender on orientation in the digital sector in the region.
In secondary education: a direction chosen by the pupils, with a notable influence of the family and teachers
- ❖ The importance of one’s own role in guidance is relatively more asserted by men than by women.
- ❖ More than half of the respondents did not receive specific presentations on digital training and/or careers during their schooling, a significant proportion of whom said they regretted it
A much higher proportion of women than men who did not receive presentations dedicated to digital technology regretted this.
In higher education: pursuing studies with a focus on content and professional prospects, regardless of gender.
Gender: a fairly weak influence on orientation towards digital training
More than 1 in 4 female respondents said they had experienced sexualised behaviour during their studies, compared to just 2 in 100 men.
The perpetrators of these sexist manifestations: primarily male students and to a lesser extent members of the teaching staff.
It should also be noted that 14% of the persons concerned expressed the consequences of having witnessed and/or been the victim of sexist manifestations on their current schooling or their pursuit of studies.
The women’s comments (largely predominant) show a gradation in the consequences of these situations, ranging from an absence of impact (“I was convinced of what I wanted to do and I did what I wanted to do”, “it’s sad but you get used to it”) to negative consequences for themselves and their course (“drop in morale, drop in motivation, loss of desire to join a boys’ class and then reorientation» ). « Discomfort and further alienation. “We had reported it to our referent teacher but as it was the first time it was reported, nothing happened. I have a bad memory of it, a disappointment”.
For the future
Three decisive elements for the choice of the first job, whatever the gender:
- Workplace atmosphere
- Work/life balance
Some key points
❖ 70% of women and men, in equal proportions, think that their gender did not play a role in their own orientation. 12% feel that their gender played a role in their career decisions (16% of women vs. 10% of men).
❖ More women than men (16% vs. 10%) think that their gender has influenced their choices (although these shares are smaller).
Reasons cited by respondents who think that their gender played a role in their career choices : (In purple : women’s comments ; in orange : men’s comments)
I chose a baccalaureate in science and not engineering because of the sexism of the teachers and also of the students; I did not go for pure computer science partly because of the less “feminine” image.
– At the end of preparatory school, I chose the most feminine subject in science: biology.
– Women in computer science are much more sought after because they are in small numbers.
– In computer engineering, a quota of girls was required, and in my class there were only 4 girls, all of whom were taken.
– As a woman, it was easier to get into the computer science universitary degree in technology
- – If I had been a woman perhaps my attraction to literature would have been better noticed. A man in IT is more common than a woman. The stereotypes remain despite the efforts.
- – There are many examples of men making a career in these professions. Many male interviewers.
– More ease and encouragement for men: in retrospect I realise this.
❖ IT is the first professional field targeted by the respondents
As for the preferred occupations of the respondents, they differ according to their gender:
Cognitician, ergonomist or web designer are the most cited by women Computer scientist, data specialist or cybersecurity expert are more often cited by men
Main suggestions made by respondents to encourage girls to go digital and prevent gender discrimination
- – Break down stereotypes, deconstruct representations, change mentalities by raising awareness of discrimination and sexism through education.
- – Encourage everyone to make their own choices and ensure that girls gain self-confidence and are no longer afraid to enter so-called male fields of study by providing them with the best possible support when they are in a minority, without stigmatising them.
- – Enhance the image and attractiveness of digital training and jobs through very concrete information actions, encouraging girls to participate.
- – Offer young people a wider gender spectrum of people representative of the sector in training and employment to enable them to better project themselves.
- – Communicate in a neutral way about training and jobs without gender distinction or positive discrimination: jobs have no gender!
- – To make the fight against discrimination and sexism a goal shared by all, by acting by all possible means: introduction of charters of good practice, reporting of sexist behaviour, training in dealing with such situations.
The MOTIV-ACTION project aims to create new career opportunities for unemployed adults by increasing and improving digital guidance services in
13th of September, 2022 between 13:30 and 16:00 with a complimentary lunch
Huis van het Nederlands Brussel, Rue Philippe de Champagne