Digital Gender Equality: Luxembourg Ranks Third in EU Index
The Women in Digital Scoreboard assesses women’s participation in the digital economy
Last week, the European Commission released its first-ever Women in Digital Scoreboard: a simple study with huge implications.
According to the Scoreboard, Luxembourg’s public-private measures aimed at giving everyone access to the digital economy – whether children, immigrants, low-earners or women – are having an impact.
Of the 29 member states referenced in 2018’s Women in Digital Index, Luxembourg ranked third overall – the lone non-Scandinavian country in the top four – wedged between Sweden, and Denmark, with Finland earning top honors.
Across Europe, countries are accelerating their efforts to close the digital gender gap, because, in a very literal sense, it represents untapped potential. As the Scoreboard publication accurately puts it, “The underrepresentation of women in the digital economy is a missed opportunity for Europe and is costing us dearly.”
Nations that master digital inclusion will be the ones that stay in the lead as economies modernize.
In terms of internet usage, Luxembourg attained the number one spot in two categories: women who regularly use the internet (96%) and those who participate in online consulting or voting (34.1%).
When it comes to internet user skills, it again ranked first in multiple areas: “at least basic digital skills” (82%), “above basic digital skills” (49%) and “at least basic software skills” (84%).
ICT, however, remains a male stronghold: among the EU’s ICT specialists only 16.7% are women. In Luxembourg, that percentage drops to 13.7%.
As part of its “digital for all” pillar, Digital Luxembourg, set up by the government to strengthen and unify the country’s digitalization efforts, supports and enables women-in-tech initiatives. Women in Digital Inclusion (WIDE) is one such initiative changing digital demographics by offering free coding workshops to women and girls.
According to the Scoreboard, that change has already begun. Among 55-74 year olds, women have roughly half the basic digital skills that men do. For 25-54 year olds, the gap between genders lessons and for 16-24 year olds, women slightly surpass men.
Digital Luxembourg’s broader goal in the skills arena is to promote digital literacy, inclusion and awareness so no one is left out of the digital movement, strengthening the nation as a whole.
Providing computers and tech skills to immigrants (e.g. Digital Inclusion), letting students explore and design tech applications, (e.g. Luxembourg Tech School), introducing children to the wonders of coding (e.g. Workshop4Me) combine to close digital gaps inch by inch at all levels of society.
Through these activities, big and small, Luxembourg will keep edging forward until, collectively, the EU achieves a reality where Scoreboards such as this one are obsolete.