Bulgaria climbs at the top regarding the statistical figure measuring the employment of women in the IT sector – twice as much as the European average. This was said by EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel during the conference in NDK “SHE leader @ digital 2018”, which was held under its patronage. The event is part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and participants were from the businesses, the non-economic and public sector from across Europe, who discussed possible ways to support and promote the active participation and contribution of women in the digital economy.

“There is no doubt that Europe’s future is digital and it must include all of us. In this respect, the role of women and their participation in Europe’s digital transformation is crucial”, Gabriel said. Women represent 52% of the European population, but they currently account for only 30% of entrepreneurs and 32% of economic leaders. It turns out that women are the biggest untapped entrepreneurial and leadership potential in Europe.

According to the Bulgarian Commissioner, economic obstacles to women are dictated by a vicious circle of mutually reinforcing gender-related restrictions, stereotypes, the specificities of education systems. The result is a digital gap between men and women during unprecedented digital transformation. “Better representation of women in the digital sector is a matter that affects the progress and prosperity of our societies. More women working digital jobs could generate an annual increase in European GDP of €16 billion. Women are drivers of growth and progress. We must therefore all join forces and work on equal opportunities for women and men in the digital sector,” Maria Gabriel added.

The Commissioner stressed that all sectors are equally affected, but some of them have special importance, such as the media and the audiovisual sector. Only in two countries in Europe, for example, there is a good representation of women in boards of directors – Sweden 61% and Bulgaria 60%.