On 16th of November one of the most anticipated events DigiWomen hosted by Women in Business, in association with Bocconi Students for Digital Consulting, took place in University Bocconi. Three top female Italian executives came together to talk about women empowerment and their struggle to the top. However, if you missed the event, don’t be disheartened. We are here to summarise all the important information you require to charge head first straight into your future.
Despite the evidence that more women entering the digital job market can create an annual € 9 billion in Europe alone, there is still a large information and communication gender gap. Women are more reluctant to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and only a fraction of female tech graduates actually go on to work in this field. Moreover, women are still under-represented among tech entrepreneurs in decision-making positions. In Italy, the two main high school choices are Scientifico and Classico. Generally, if a guy is good in mathematics he goes to the Scientific course and if you’re a girl you’re more likely to take up Classico or Artistico. But the problem is, girls aren’t forced to take those subjects, they choose it because they believe it is the right choice for them. It all comes down to their mind-set and the exposure they receive. Since birth, girls are supposed to be perfect, feminine and delicate, while boys are free to run around, be more manly and are allowed to take risks, make mistakes and not be judged by it.
Paola Banomo stated correctly “Women cannot develop passion or interest in a subject like computer science if they don’t have exposure early on in life”.
The real world is not 100% equal. The good news is that the information and communication sector is paving the way towards a more equal workplace. Men and women in the same non-managerial jobs and with similar backgrounds now tend to earn the same. However, the hierarchical structures are still very much male-dominated. People are still going to be biased, but it is definitely getting better. There are more opportunities for both women and men in different fields of work now, than it was a few years ago. We have more female role models to look up to share their stories and inspire us to take risks, be tough, ambitious and assertive.
The theme that the speakers Paola Bonamo, Barbara Cominelli, and Manuela Lavezzari stressed upon was to be the change and fight the status quo. This basically means, get out of your comfort zone, take risks, don’t be scared of failing, learn from your mistakes and grow, don’t be perfect, be passionate!
Choose a company that believes in diversity and gives everyone an equal opportunity.
“I cried, then said, it’s time to turn the page” – Paola Bonomo
Empowering women in the tech sector will give a boost to the economy and allow for full participation in society. Technical skills and education for the digital world as well as web entrepreneurship are key elements to make this happen. If these women can do it, so can we.
“Don’t be afraid, run and take risks”
– Barbara Cominelli
Vedangana Raj & Lucrezia Croce
Women in Business_Bocconi Female Students Association