Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri launched the Women on IT initiative which seeks to redress the balance of the gender divide by promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls across tech, startups and businesses.  Women on IT is an initiative done through a collaboration with Malta Business Network and other key stakeholders in the tech field, and will serve as a forum of discussion to identify ways to increase female participation.

“The past few years, have seen the unprecedented rise of digital and communications technologies, which, together with the digital economy, have dramatically changed every aspect of life as we know it. However, we face a substantial deficit in the skills and competency levels of ICT professionals, a scenario which we believe that with higher female participation in the industry, could be remedied. With the dawn of the digital age, it is now more important than ever that we empower girls to become significant participants in this exciting new era”, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.

He also said that as a country, Malta made great strides in embracing the changes new and emergent technologies have brought about. “With more female participation, we can only further reaffirm our leading position on the global stage. As a government, we seek to equip our younger generation with the necessary capabilities to embark on a fully-fledged career within the digital sector”, said Silvio Schembri. He also mentioned that earlier this year, Malta became the first EU member state to launch a National eSkills Strategy, which seeks to look into and address the need for continuous profession development, upskilling specialisation and retention of our workforce, with a focus on combating digital divide.

‘For all this to bear fruit we need to fully recognise that to make the numerous existing initiatives more accessible to our young women, we need to collectively strive to end gender stereotyping and cultural discouragement which negatively affects our young women and their opportunities in the digital labour market”, said Silvio Schembri, while adding that the Women on IT initiative will serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas on how female participation could be encouraged and put under the spotlight.

Beata Young, Founder of Women on IT expressed her delight with starting Women on IT in Malta with the support of so many key stakeholders who recognise that we must ‘Hack the Future!’ across the generations to deliver a ‘win-win’ – a better economy and more opportunities for women. Our digital future depends on women just as much as men, and that is where Women on IT builds value for better business and better opportunity for women and Malta 

Women on IT seeks to build a strong ecosystem of women and men providing inspiration, support and mutual learning; fostering a trusting, open and inclusive environment.