Skype and University of Tartu to explore women’s employment in ICT sector
Skype Estonia and the University of Tartu explore the factors that hinder women entering into the fast developing ICT sector and what should be done that the situation would be different.
The aim of the study, commissioned by Skype Estonia and conducted by the UT Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in this spring and summer, is to get an overview about the situation of women’s employment and its factors in the Estonian ICT sector, to determine the main obstacles why so few women work in this field, and to find solutions for increasing the proportion of women in the ICT sector.
According to Merle Liisu Lindma, the HR manager for Skype Estonia, one of the features of the ICT sector is the large proportion of men – the study that was conducted two years ago by the think tank Praxis revealed that only 22% of people employed in the ICT sector are women.
“Skype, being one of the most valued employees in Estonia wishes to change this situation where so few women are employed in the fast developing ICT sector, “Lindma explained. According to the HR manager, they decided to commission the study from the University of Tartu in order to use the help from the best researchers in Estonia for developing the knowledge-based approach and a solution.
According to Kulno Türk, the UT Professor of Human Resource Management and the person responsible of the research, the research determines typical career paths of the women who begin working in the ICT field. “Through questionnaires we include senior year students in order to explore their further study options and experience with computer studies, and the ICT students to understand their motives for choosing the ICT specialty and their opinion about the main reasons why women are underrepresented in the ICT sector.”
Based on the results of the questionnaires, an overview about youth opinions what should be done in order the interest in the ICT field would enhance, especially among women, will be made. “Based on the analysis of the results, we will conduct additional interviews with the ICT female students and the managers and female employers of the ICT companies in order to determine the human resource policy in the ICT companies, including the situation and problems related to hiring female employers and their careers,” Türk explained.
In view of the above, proposals to enhance the preparation, formation and development of the ICT specialists and increase the number of women among the ICT companies’ staff will be developed.
Further information about the services and research fields of the UT researchers: www.ut.ee/ettevotlus.
Additional information: Kulno Türk, the UT Professor of Human Resource Management and the person responsible of the research, tel. 503 6542, e-mail: kulno.turk [ät] ut.ee;
Merle Liisu Lindma, HR manager for Skype Estonia, tel. 51 60 590, e-mail: merle.lindma [ät] skype.net.