Women and ICTs


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Period: July 2011 – June 2012
Customer: Equal Opportunities Commission of Regione Veneto
Line of research: eGovernment Intelligence

Project Summary
A quantitative & qualitative analysis of the ICT gender gap through statistical data, web analysis, institutional reports, laws and policies in Regione Veneto.
The resulting report describes, with updated information:

  • an assessment on the relation between ICT and women and for ICT jobs equal opportunities,
  • data on women involved in universities and enterprises, at national / European level,
  • a comparison of gender gap between Veneto, Italy & Europe,
  • the job opportunities in ICT and the new roles & competences active in ICT.

The following methodology was applied in order to develop the study:

  • qualification and quantification of the phenomenon through the analysis of institutional statistics,
  • integration of official indicators with indicators for measuring the production of content on the web,
  • representation / mapping of KPIs in order to highlight any changes of the indicators in relation to the areas concerned.

The study proposes a path gradually involving more and more restricted areas in order to be able to identify with greater clarity and distinctness the various problems that involves all levels analyzed. The analysis will start from an international level, passing to the European level, to the state of Italy and then will be brought to the regional dimension in reference to the Veneto. Then, its Provinces and finally (mostly by using webbots / spiders techniques) approaching individual municipalities.

This Study aimed to provide an in-depth quantitative and qualitative gender gap analyses in the ICT sector through statistical data, analysis of web, official reports, rules and policies, with particular attention to the situation of Veneto.

With this project, the Equal Opportunity Commission of the Veneto Region has considered it important to investigate the problems associated accentuation of gender disparities in education and employment in the field of science and computer technology. Although in the last fifteen years has been progress in equality of gender, the gap between women and men in terms of opportunities and quality of employment is still significant. More than ten years after the adoption of an ambitious global platform for action for gender equality and the empowerment of women at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the gender issue is deeply rooted in society and in the labour market.

In particular, if we consider the professions related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the gender gap is even more pronounced. According to European Commission figures currently the ICT sector recorded twelve million jobs and is worth 6% of the GDP of the European Union, but women are largely under-represented.

The specific objective of this project was assigned to the Department of Environmental Sciences, Statistics and Informatics of the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, is the realization of a study that describes:

  • the situation on the relationship between the world of ICT and the female universe, with particular regard to equality between men and women and equal opportunities that the employment grants and grants in this area;
  • data on the female population involved in education in college and the workplace in areas of ICT, both at national and European level;
  • a comparison between the situation of Veneto and the National and European;
  • a description of job opportunities related to the profession of information technology and new professions and skills to operate in the ICT sector.

The methodology followed in addressing this study is structured according to the following guidelines:

  • qualification and quantification of the phenomenon through the analysis of institutional statistics, replicated at a regional scale,
  • integration of institutional indicators with indicators experimental measurement of the production of content on the web,
  • representation, geo-referenced mapping and analysis of indicators in order to highlight any differences in relation to the areas affected.

The research is developed along a path that involves gradually reality to scale increasingly reduced in order to be able to identify with greater clarity and distinctness the specific problems identified. It starts as an international and European context, followed by the analysis of the state of Italy and then to progress to the regional dimension in reference to the Veneto are then taken into account its Provinces and then (only by collecting experimental data by webbots / spiders) individual municipalities.

The results of this study clearly show the great opportunities offered by ICT for effective policies is to increase women’s employment without discrimination and to promote the diversity of skills and competencies that, in this historical moment of profound change, constitutes a decisive factor for growth.

Below the line of development of the contents of the Study.

In the first chapter, after having framed the issue of information technology and modern information society, is dealt with the issue of gender differences in its most general form, helping with some ranking and some employment statistics. The second chapter is devoted to the classification of the gender gap in ICT, it is then a list of positions commonly recurring professional in this field.

The third and the fourth chapters represent the core of the quantitative research of this study.

In the third chapter contains specific views of gender statistics relating to higher education and related professional outcomes, the primary and secondary education, as well as data on the gender distribution of university teachers. Are given in the fourth chapter some experimental studies aimed at identifying the gender trails characteristic of undifferentiated production of content on the web to the municipal level. These leverage the existence of expressions in Italian that allow you to identify the gender of the author of comments / contents.

The fifth and sixth chapter then report the main results of the qualitative analysis of the Study.

In the fifth chapter are in fact in-depth considerations and several European and national authoritative studies aimed at understanding the causes of the gender gap in the ICT sector. In the sixth chapter conversely shows the Policy support to information technology as a factor leading to the most advanced societies and interventions in this area to achieve gender equity.

Some brief conclusions and an extensive collection of scientific literature relevant to the study conclude the Study.


Management Committee
Unive-DAIS: Prof. Agostino Cortesi (responsible), Dr. Antonio Candiello (coordinator)
Equal Opportunity Commission: President, Simonetta Tregnago, Vice-President, Cristina Greggio

Technical/Editorial Committee
Unive-DAIS: Prof. Agostino Cortesi (supervisor; co-author), Dr. Antonio Candiello (research coordination; quantitative analysis; co-author), Dr. Fabio Fignani (qualitative analysis; co-author), Dr.ssa Emanuela Boschetto (co-author), then the students: Antonio De Faveri, Maura Geron (webbots & spiders), Piergiorgio Matteazzi (data & geo-referentiation)
Equal Opportunity Commission: Vice-President, Cristina Greggio (validation)



“Donne e Tecnologie Informatiche”, di Emanuela Boschetto, A. Candiello, A. Cortesi e F. Fignani, pp.1-144, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, 2012, ISBN 978-88-97735-02-1. The Study is available online by following this link.

“Donne e Tecnologie Informatiche”, 29/5/2012, University “Ca’ Foscari” of Venice

Bachelor Thesis
“Progettazione ed implementazione di Spider e Webbot”, tesi di laurea di M. Geron, Relatore: A. Cortesi, Correlatore: A. Candiello, Corso di Laurea in Informatica (Triennale), Università “Ca’ Foscari” di Venezia, AA 2010-2011, pagg.1-76;

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