Advancing Women in ITEC
(Equal project, 2005-2007)
addresses gender inequality in the Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITEC) industries by providing services and resources to individuals and organisations for more effective implementation of diversity policies.
Why best practice?
Equalitec has promoted lifelong learning and the goals of Equal-ESF by increasing workforce diversity in the ITEC sector and improving the employability of women returning to work after career break. An important conclusion that the project highlights is the fact that high education level does not necessarily secure employability in case of women returning from career breaks.
Strong impacts have been documented both in terms of skills development and improved career prospects among women. Besides professional impact, the project has had strong personal impact as improved self-efficacy and individual empowerment. “Organizational empowerment” of the project coordinator has resulted in confidence to make new initiatives in order to address other social issues. Impact in participating organizations and on the level of the society is demonstrated by women returnees having become a mainstreamed issue.
The project has developed a wide partnership with more than 70 organisations.
Sustainable results have been produced both in the lives of 100 women and in the participating organizations. An example of the latter is that the Royal Academy of Engineering, a leader in the industrial sector, integrated the findings of the Equalitec Diversity Forums in their diversity strategy, thus spreading the impact to the rest of the industry.
Elisabeth Pollitzer: There is a pool of talent that the employers are not aware of. It is essential to bring the employers, the women-returnees and the training providers together for a dialogue. We have a great number of role models and good practice that can be adapted to new circumstances.
To learn more about the European cooperation experience from this project, see the whole interview with the promoter here.