Bridging the digital gender gap

The EU Delegation to Singapore dedicated its annual Human Rights Seminar, Women in the Digital Age: gender equality in the digital sphere, to exchange views on how best to ensure that we work towards a fair digital transition.

Digital technologies are an essential part of our everyday lives. By 2025, each person would become engaged in almost 5,000 digital interactions per day compared to the 20 human interactions a person will have on average!

EU Ambassador to Singapore Iwona Piórko

Themed What’s in it for Women and hosted by the European Union Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Iwona Piórko this year’s seminar addressed the existing gender gap in the ICT sector and raised awareness on the effects technology played in changing women's roles in society. It pointed out that increasing women’s participation in the digital sector can have an important impact on combating gender inequalities, stereotypes and discrimination, improving access to the labour market for women, their working conditions, as well as addressing the gender pay gap.

The COVID-19 crisis, which revolutionised the way people and companies use ICT and other digital technologies to work and interact, highlighted the urgency to promote gender balance in this sector. Equal labour market opportunities and treatment at work, and striving for gender balance in the digital sector, is of utmost importance not only to the EU’s and the world’s economy, but also as a matter of plain justice for all the talented women and girls choosing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) career path.

Women in Digital Seminar

The lively seminar included speeches from Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development, and Education, Ms June Lowery-Kingston, Head of Unit at Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission, and an inspiring panel discussion led by Dr Chew Han Ei, Senior Research Fellow at IPS Social Lab at the Institute of Policy Studies. The panel comprising H.E. Judit Pach, Ambassador of Hungary to Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, Ms Georgette Tan, President of United Women in Singapore, Ms Helen Chua, NEC Asia-Pacific, and Dr Elmie Nekmat, Associate Professor at the Department of Communications and New Media at NUS, examined how ICT can be a long-term solution to promote female employment at European, Singaporean, and International level; and although gender inequality exists in the digital sphere, with better collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders, we can try to close the gap.

Women in Digital Panel Discussion