Making Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) less â€˜nerdyâ€™ and more fun can help increase the number of women who use computers. However more needs to be done to make women feel wanted in ICT design and development jobs. These are some of the findings of a major study known as SIGIS (Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society).
SIGIS, made possible by a grant of â‚¬928,000 from the Information Society Technology (IST) Programme of the European Unionâ€™s Framework Programme, set out to discover ways to bridge the gender gap that has resulted in women being excluded from the use and development of the communication and media technologies.
The study, carried out by project partners in five countries â€“ the UK, Norway, The Netherlands, Ireland and Italy â€“ analysed public sector, non-governmental and commercial initiatives to include women in the Information Society.
â€œSIGIS research offers strategic insights into the way gender and ICT is understood and managed in various organisations, government, communities and industry sectors across Europe,â€ says project co-ordinator, Professor Robin Williams of the University of Edinburgh. â€œThe 48 case studies also detail the changing gender dimension of ICT development and use and chart the evolving socio-economic context of the Information Society.