PRESS RELEASE – Europe needs women in ICT. CEPIS awards ICT education grants to two of Europe’s best and brightest young women.

To become an innovation society and for Europe to recover fully from the economic downturn, it is imperative that more women are enticed into ICT studies and careers.

At the closing event of European e-Skills Week, CEPIS - the CCEPIS Women in ICT Awardouncil of European Professional Informatics Societies - launched a new award to encourage young women to take up and stay in ICT-related education and thus careers.

Europe’s capacity to emerge stronger from the economic crisis is closely linked to its ability to innovate, increase productivity and compete with other dynamic knowledge economies. ICT is a powerful vehicle to foster innovation across all sectors, but will only facilitate economic recovery with a constant supply of professionals with the right skills. The low numbers of women taking up ICT-related education is a barrier to progress however and indicates a significant untapped human capital resource for Europe.

To bridge the gap between the demand for ICT professionals and the decreasing supply of female graduates in the field, CEPIS has run a pan-European competition on digital competence for women. The winners of the award were announced at the closing event of European e-Skills Week in Brussels on March 5th and presented by CEPIS Vice President Malgorzata Kalinowska- Iszkowska.

Fourteen year old Anna Voríšková from the Czech Republic won the 1000 Euro education grant for her website and blog project which she created herself and runner-up Louisa Luciani from Sweden will receive 500 Euro towards her degree in Computing Engineering for her experience creating computer clubs and acting a role model for the involvement women in ICT.

Both CEPIS and other EU Studies, highlight that shortages of skilled personnel will have an adverse impact on Europe’s economic future, the development of human capital in ICT and the ability of Europe to innovate. Promoting of women in ICT-related education and careers will enable Europe to better compete and contribute towards the successful achievement of the European Economic strategy, which places ICT innovation at its core.

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