Study & Good Practice Guide

Women in Tech

A study by the eco Association presenting best practice tips for tech companies looking to recruit, retain and support the advancement of more women specialists.

Women are seriously underrepresented in the IT and digital industry

“The greatest potential that Germany has so far left untapped is girls and women in IT and the digital industry.” This is the view of Alexander Rabe, Managing Director of the eco Association. In Germany, just 16.8% of tech specialists are women. And this gender gap is not just a reality in Germany: it is also the case to varying degrees across the globe. For every one woman specialist working in the Internet industry, globally there are currently three men – and in Europe, there are as many as five. If we don’t move fast, age-old gender stereotypes could get bedded down in what should essentially be the most innovative and progressive of all industries.

In order to both get to the roots of the problem of gender inequality in the Internet industry and to support companies in tackling it, eco – as Europe’s largest association of the Internet industry – has now produced a study and guide: “Women in Tech Across the Globe: A Good Practice Guide for Companies”.

Why gender equality is in companies’ deepest interest

There is no single tech company for whom the promotion of gender equality does not make sense. As this study highlights, organizations with high levels of gender diversity are not only proven to have higher-than-average financial returns; they also gain a serious edge over their competitors through accessing the world’s greatest untapped pool of talent. Essentially, promoting women in tech is no longer a task which can be put on hold: In 2025, for example, the labor shortage of tech workers in Germany is forecast to be 625,000, and 520,000 in France. Now is the time for every company to act.

Luckily, for any company who may in the past have wrung their hands in the belief that women are less attracted to (or less likely to be employed in!) the tech sector, there is now substantial evidence of what can work to appeal to and retain women in the industry. Where we currently stand in the area of gender diversity, what lies behind it, and the challenges that have to be tackled now: these are the questions we pose and provide concrete answers to in our study and guide.


Contents of the Guide


  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • Management Summary
  • Introduction: 
    • Why Gender Equality is in Companies’ Deepest Interest: Facts & Figures
    • Who is this Guide for?
    • Content of the Guide
  • Women in Tech: An International Overview
  • Recommendations for Action: Where to Begin?
    • Start with a Plan
    • Five Key Steps to Devising a Gender Equality Strategy
  • Recommended Policies & Associated Actions
    •     Policy One: Recruitment & On-Ramping of Women
    •     Policy Two: Retention of Women Through New Work Culture
    •     Policy Three: Supporting Women to Rise Up the Ranks
    •     Policy Four: Collaboration with Education Providers to Build the Pipeline of Female Talent
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix: Research & Rationale Behind Recommended Actions

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