Bulgaria is one of the four countries where women have more fundamental digital skills than men and one of the three in which the gap between men and women working in the field of communication technologies is the smallest. The women working in it are 30.2% – twice as high as the EU average.
However, Internet usage, consumer skills and the skills of professionals are at the lowest level in the EU.
This shows the new European Commission’s annual Digital Index.
Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg and Denmark have scored the highest scores on the Digital Women, while Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Italy – the lowest. In general, the Member States that are most competitive in digital technology are also leaders in women’s participation in the digital sector.
It encompasses indicators such as regular use of the Internet, the percentage of people who have never been on the net, online banking, professional use of social networks, learning and voting online, eGovernment use.
Although in almost all of these areas women are better off than men, the overall level of the country is the worst of all European countries. For example, online banking accounts for 9% of Bulgarian women and 8% of Bulgarians, while average Euro rates are 60% and 63% respectively. The basic skills of Bulgarians are also almost half of the average for the union.
The index comes out on the occasion of the birthday of Ada Lovelace – considered the first computer programmer in the world. The Index is one of the measures taken to assess the inclusion of women in jobs, careers and entrepreneurship in the field of digital technologies, initiated by the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel.
The report assesses the performance of EU countries in the field of consumer use and skills on the Internet, as well as the availability of specialized knowledge, skills and employment in the field based on 13 indicators.
The first edition of the index shows that women’s participation in digital technology is lagging behind in several areas. Only 1 of 6 IT and ICT professionals, and only 1 of 3 graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math is a woman. It is surprising that women in the ICT sector earn almost 20% less than men.
The main results of the Women in Digital Technology Index show that:
– there is a gender gap in all 13 EU-level indicators with some state-level exceptions: in Finland, Estonia and Bulgaria women are more active Internet users than men; in Latvia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Cyprus, women have higher digital skills than men.
– The gender gap is greatest among IT professionals (ICTs) – 76% of them are ICT literacy specialists and 47% have completed engineering and engineering studies.
– The difference in the digital participation of younger women and men in the age group (16-24) is relatively lower (55% of women compared to 60% of men). In some countries, the trend even begins to turn, with women surpassing men in this category.