back to article It's official: Steelie Neelie is a triple-triple-TRIPLE win digital woman

Women, the digital market and Europe's economy can all benefit from more females working in the IT sector within the EU, Brussels' unelected digital czar Neelie Kroes insisted today. Findings from a survey conducted by the European Commission claimed that such a move would boost the 28-member bloc's annual GDP by a whopping €9bn …

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You brits really aren't very good with other languages, are you?

She's Dutch. Her name is pronounced Naylie.

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"You Romans, you never bother to learn anyone else's languages" grumbled the Carthaginians.

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Centurion: What's this, then? "Romanes eunt domus"? People called Romanes, they go, the house?

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I'm all for more women in IT

Because most of the gits I've work with are little more than moody angst ridden teenagers in men's bodies with the social skills of alligators.

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Re: I'm all for more women in IT

Implying that you won't just swap those with the female version with added drama on top.

And, is that you Jake?

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Re: I'm all for more women in IT

Added drama? Teenagers are pretty the same no matter the sex or physical age.

Most of the women I've worked with in IT were actually pretty damn level headed. Most of the men, closet misogynists.

Now women in HR, different story.

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Coat

digital woman?

If I read this, I somehow see an image of a girl, jumping out of a TV set...

Coat - the one with the rental video in the pocket!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: digital woman?

"If I read this, I somehow see an image of a girl, jumping out of a TV set..."

For me it conjures up images of Rommie from the TV series Andromeda... Mmmm, Lexa Doig... ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_Ascendant

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Re: digital woman?

She's a major characters in Continuum now...

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Re: digital woman?

Videodrome?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: digital woman?

Lara Croft.

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Don't really get the link...

Does the study show that women make IT more profitable?

Or is it saying that there are empty positions which could be filled by suitably qualified women (or one would assume suitably qualified men)?

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@ Yet Another Commentard - Re: Don't really get the link...

You ask a question, the same that was running through my head as I read TFA, and someone downvotes you; WTF? Have an upvote to neutralise it.

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Dear MS. Kroes, can you send some?

Because there are none to be found here. It's not we refuse women in IT, it's women who stay away from IT - it looks working as a pole dancer is a more appealing work for women than working in IT.

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Difficult

I like her a lot, but although I have known many very good women in IT during my 35 years I have this feeling that if a IT company employs anything near 40% of women it will die. The problem is that women seem to talk too much and fight each other all the time. And although they are very good at sticking to good rules and practices they are not too good at finding new. They are not "dirty" enough, in a way. Then there is the question about if it is about women and men in the first place or more about how we are managed as children. Still there is not much fuss about the fact that there are less men as nurses than women. Do what you want women, nobody can stop you. And if I could support anybody in the third world I would rather support women than men. And finally perhaps I should just shut up.

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It's like we are doing elections here?

Women, the digital market and Europe's economy can all benefit from more females working in the IT sector within the EU, Brussels' unelected digital czar Neelie Kroes insisted today.

The whole of Europe could benefit if a mothership from Xargoz IV appeared in low earth orbit and proclaimed that it would hand over unbelievable technology to caring and liberal/progressive nations which have "free healthcare" and strong gun laws not to mention the foresight to worry about global warming and that treat their army of public employees well by giving them higher salaries than can ever be reached in the private sector.

But it ain't gonna happen.

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Earning motivation

> Kroes said she wants to attract more women to IT jobs and highlighted incentives such as greater earning potential and the fact that there is apparently lots of work opportunities in that market.

Studies have shown that "earning potential" is indeed a great incentive - for men.

If you want to motivate women into a particular industry, you're better off implementing and emphasising better work/life balance, and flexible, pleasant, working conditions. Unfortunately, these are not common characteristics or expectations of IT work.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Earning motivation

"If you want to motivate women into a particular industry, you're better off implementing and emphasising better work/life balance, and flexible, pleasant, working conditions. Unfortunately, these are not common characteristics or expectations of IT work."

That's kind of her point. Workers with a good work-life balance tend to be more productive. That's at the core of the study showing that more equal companies tend to be more profitable - they simply tend to be run better, that's how they got more equal in the first place.

IT isn't overtly sexist - we don't turn away women because we're afraid of babies or vaginas, women are turned away because of a perception - because they see computer science degrees as loaded to the back teeth with crusty old techies and young, greasy antisocial types (not entirely without basis, either). They see tech jobs as overworked, underpaid, full of crunches, and destined for a life in a basement office staring at a screen every hour they're sent (again, not entirely without basis).

Whole swathes of the IT industry need to grow up and professionalise. This needs to come from the whole world of business and education. "Non-IT" types and businesses need to stop seeing IT as "the IT guys", something separate and completely opaque to understanding, it needs to be fully integrated as a core business function. Tech companies need to stop acting as if they're all still in college and can work eighty hour weeks on demand, they need to get out there . Educators need to put rigorous technical skills at the core of every programme they possibly can.

You'll note I abused the word "need" there, quite a bit. This isn't motivated by some bleeding heart liberal political correctness and equality nonsense. The IT industry in the UK, for example, has a massive skills gap. We're not bringing in enough junior talent. Apprenticeship programmes at some of the bigger players are spinning up, but the couple of hundred people they bring through a year are not going to make up that shortfall. While they're doing better at attracting girls into IT than their graduate recruitment counterparts, it doesn't solve the problem that despite girls outperforming boys in STEM at school, they mostly don't continue those topics through their higher education, and those that do mostly opt to go into non-technical roles or sectors with their technical qualification. Those that do stay on have a higher mid-career attrition rate than women do in just about every other industry. This represents a massive pool of untapped talent that could go a long way to plugging that skills gap and stop european companies having to shop abroad for their mid-level and senior talent recruitment.

Like, seriously, the UK has one major female tech CEO - Christine Hodgson (she's actually done some good articles about this recently for CIO and FT), and even she came through the financial route rather than the technical route. We are an information economy in an information world and the way our industry behaves drives away half of our potential talent pool. That's stupid by any measure.

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Re: Earning motivation

"Whole swathes of the IT industry need to grow up and professionalise."

Why Anon? Your entire post was brilliant and accurate.

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Tech skills- not so much

Just checked wikipedia. She has never actually worked in a real technology role.

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Re: Tech skills- not so much

To be fair most people working for the EU have not had a real job before. I doubt the people writing farming regulations have ever worn wellies before.

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Re: Tech skills- not so much

I'd be interested if you've got some proof of this or if your just repeating something you read in the Daily Mail.

All the people I've known who work in the Commission and associated bodies have had other jobs in private industry.

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Re: Tech skills- not so much

The bit about wikipedia in my post was the clue.

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Re: Tech skills- not so much

I notice you didn't say "have had other jobs in the private industry of the field they were regulating".

But, of course, anyone who raises even the slightest objection to the All WIse EU must be a swivel eyed DM reading racialist, and anyone who loves it is wise and clever and far better informed than the monkeys who read newspapers with short words and big boobs. It must really grate on you that your vote is worth the same as theirs.

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I once worked in an office in Paris...

There were 6 of us there, all IT pros, except for me, I was kind of an impostor, being more of an amateur. We worked in a small room, with desks strewn around, several smokers puffing away at will with the windows closed. 6 men, all rather unkempt and with relatively poor social skills, but getting on with the work. It was a web advertising agency. Very few people used to come into this particular room, which was not glamorous like the rest of the agency. However, for some reason, two women regularly came in for work-related reasons. One of them was a stunning, short brunette with an icy temperament, who used to enter the room briefly only because she had to, and would wear a sneer throughout making it clear that she didn't appreciate the experience, and woe to whoever might try to talk to her.

The other was a tall, beautiful, dusky brunette with long curly hair. She was the complete opposite in terms of character. She used to come in, say hello left and right, flash crafty smiles at us, and then she would head for one particular desk, whose owner worked facing the door, and she would lean low and seductively over it, so everybody could admire what an amazing creature she was, and all work and all talk would then stop dead.

All of us were watching. She knew it, of course. As for the one whose desk she was leaning on, he was so put out of sorts, he could barely stammer answers to her questions. He was utterly and hopelessly smitten, and completely in her power. All the other men meanwhile were wishing she would pick on us for a change, but she never did.

She needed to get or deliver a report to this guy, I don't remember which it was, but she made sure to turn this mundane obligation into such a seductive event, that it was the highlight of the day. She flirted shamelessly with the poor bloke while he desperately tried to flirt back clumsily...

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Horses for courses

There are some highly capable women in IT but the vast majority are going to prefer to work in Marketing or HR. In my experience the heads of these depts are predominantly female, so surely that balances out the predominantly male IT and Sales dept heads. As for getting more women in IT,... ain't gonna happen and that is quite simply because it doesn't interest most women.

When are these political morons gonna start to realise that the reason men and women end up in different roles is BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT! We are not equal, not the same, in some ways we are equivalent, but we are most definitely different in soul, mind, and body.

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5-year-old boys are worse at reading than 5-year-old girls.

If these stupid sexists in Brussels ( and everywhere ) want to make us all equal then they should start by ensuring that 5-year-old boys are not falling behind girls and educating them properly would increase our GDP by the equivalent of 6.7 Icelands, according to my own ScienceFreeBullshitGenerator.

Men and women are different. Forcing people into jobs they don't want is bad for us. Denying jobs to people because they have a penis is disgusting.

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Anonymous Coward

Reminds me of a woman at work

She took off six months for Maternity leave etc and then complained when her bonus was cut in half.

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