Moldova: report identifies major gender gap in ICT professions

  • Date: 11/02/20
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Women and girls occupy only 31% of jobs in the ICT sector in Moldova and only 19% of digital professions, according to a study released by the National Bureau of Statistics

Only 4.6% of the girls studying in higher education choose STEM (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) as their study profile. As a result, women get jobs with a lower level of qualification and, respectively, of remuneration in this sector. Women’s salaries in the information and communication technologies sector (ICT) are by 33% lower than of men.

Access to ICT and the Internet is not equal. The share of households led by women who have a computer and Internet access is by 11.7 percentage points lower than of households led by men. Moreover, the differences grow with time: the access to computers and Internet of households led by men grows faster than of households led by women. 

These are just some of the conclusions of the study Women and men in the information and communication technologies Sector (ICT) presented on 20 December 2019, by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The publication was produced as part of the UN Project “Strengthening the national statistical system”, implemented by the National Bureau of Statistics, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Sweden.

The report also finds that the share of those who have a computer is by 24.1 percentage points lower in villages than in urban areas. The access to ICT utilities is directly correlated with the level of wellbeing and education as well as with the presence and level of development of ICT infrastructure and services. About 71.5% of the richest households have computers, compared to 35.7% of the poorest ones. At the same time, around 90% of the households of persons with higher education and only 25% of the households led by persons with primary or no education have computers.

In the past three years, the number of ICT businesses led by women has been growing faster (by 28%) than those led by men (24%), while gender gaps have been declining. Women-led companies pay the highest salaries in ICT and employment is higher in such companies. If this trend continues, the gender gaps among ICT businesses will decrease.

Women and men use ICT for different purposes, too. Men download softwares more frequently, follow digital contents for entertainment purposes or make payments for various services. Women more often get information about health services, trainings, education, etc.

The study says ICT inclusion would enable women to have broader access to education, health and social services, and would contribute to their economic independence and integration. Promoting highly paid specialties and professions among women and eliminating the stereotypes about professions and occupations would contribute to enhancing women’s access to ICT and to eliminating the gap found in this area, the study reported.

UNDP press release