- The Minister of Economy and Business has inaugurated the presentation of the "White Paper of women in the technological field", which has had the participation of Carlota Tarín, Cristina Aranda, Sara Mateos, Ignacio Conde-Ruiz and the Secretary of State for Digital Advance
- The minister urges to take measures with a gender perspective against inequality between men and women, not only for justice and equity, but also for “pure economic rationality”
- The technological sector reproduces the gender differences of the traditional sectors: there are fewer women who study scientific and technical careers and in Spain they occupy only 15.6 of the technological jobs. Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence reproduce the same discriminatory biases of analog reality
The Ministry of Economy and Business has presented this Monday at its headquarters the “White Paper of women in the technological field”. At the opening of the event, the Minister of Economy and Business, Nadia Calviño, has assured that her objective is to give visibility and analyze the gap between men and women in that sector to serve as a guide for public authorities when propose effective measures to address inequalities.
The lack of equal opportunities has increased in Spain during the economic crisis, as revealed by the Gender Gap Index of the Davos Economic Forum, which has moved from 10th in gender equality in 2007 to 29 in 2018. In terms of wage equality, our country is ranked 129th out of 149 economies analyzed. Reversing this situation is an “inaccessible” objective, as the minister said, “not only for reasons of justice and equity, but also for reasons of pure economic rationality ”. Some studies reveal that our country would be losing at least 15% of GDP due to the gender gap.
But the unequal participation of women in the labor market does not only mean losing productive resources. "Dispense with the gaze of half the population impoverishes the response that can be given from the institutions to the social problems we face every day ”, said the Minister of Economy and Business, for whom diversity generates quantifiable and tangible value because it allows a greater wealth of approaches to find solutions to problems.
Gender differences in traditional sectors are reproduced in the technological field. “We are building a new world with the female point of view even less,” said Nadia Calviño, citing the conclusions of the White Paper. There are fewer women than men in scientific and technical careers, which will impact the labor market in the future. In Europe, only 30% of technological jobs are occupied by women, a percentage that in Spain is reduced to 15.6%, almost four points less than in 2006. 66% of telecommunications companies do not have No women among their managers.
The White Paper also warns that Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence that are currently being developed reproduce the same discriminatory gender biases that exist in analog reality.
Measures with a gender perspective
The minister has demanded the urgency of acting with a horizontal approach that encompasses entrepreneurship, new professional careers, education and social awareness, with transversal actions that incorporate the gender perspective. According to Nadia Calviño, this perspective has been present in the decisions that the Government has taken in the last nine months, such as the Royal Decree-Law on Gender Equality adopted last Friday with measures to move towards wage equalization and the progressive equalization of Paternity and maternity leave. He has also cited the revision of the State Plan for Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research to favor the participation of women in science at the levels that correspond to them.
The presentation of the White Paper has been completed with a round table moderated by the Secretary of State for Digital Advance, Francisco Polo, in which Carlota Tarín, partner of Quanticae; Cristina Aranda, co-founder of MujeresTech; Ignacio Conde-Ruiz, deputy director of the Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA), and Sara Mateos, co-author of the White Paper together with Clara Gómez.
Tarín and Conde-Ruiz have emphasized that the gender gap in technical and technological careers is growing in our country. Aranda has developed the problem generated by the bias in the algorithms, while Mateos has called for the creation of official indicators that measure the issue of gender equality. "Understanding the problem of the gender gap is the first step to begin to solve it," said the Secretary of State.
Proposals and practical recommendations
The "White Paper of women in the technological field" consists of 5 chapters. The first provides a general picture of the current situation of the digital gender gap in Spain. The second chapter addresses, from a gender perspective, the aspects that influence the construction of differences between the sexes during periods of childhood and youth. The third delves into the situation of women in the digital sector in our country. The fourth chapter delves into the videogames sector. Finally, the fifth chapter addresses the issue of gender biases in algorithms.
The White Paper also lists a complete list of proposals and practical recommendations to help reduce the digital gender gap in Spain.
It can be consulted and downloaded through the website of the Ministry of Economy and Business, in the following link