Italy last in digital, looking for women

Italy is for sure not a digital country. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index 2015, Italy ranks 25th out of 28. Even if Italy had made progress in the use of technologies for business in the last year, Italy has an overall score of 0.36.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
But more Italian businesses could benefit from using the e-commerce : only 5.1% of SMEs is selling online, while turnover from eCommerce for Italian enterprises is just 4.8% of total turnover, and in the EU the average is 8,8%. It is worrying that Italy is late also for the Connectivity, only 21% of Italian families have access to the fast internet and only 51% of families subscribe to fixed broadband. The lowest percentages in the EU. Indeed Italy, according to DESI, is held back in the digital economy especially because of the lack of skills: 31% of the Italian population has never used the Internet, while the EU average is 18%. While 59% is the percentage of regular users of internet. The trust among Italians is also low, 35% making online shopping and 42% online banking. Also in the reading of online news Italy ranks 26th in 2015, while it was 19th in 2014.

Furthermore, graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees, between 20 and 29 years old, are only 1.3 % in our country even if these skills are more and more required in jobs . However , Digital represents one of the few sectors where the demand of workers is increasing: it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 900 thousands vacancies in the EU. A positive point comes from the use of e-business solutions where Italy ranks top positions. In the use of cloud solutions Italy is 5th. Contrary to the Digital Public Services where the provision of pre-filled forms in online services has actually decreased in the last year , from 48% to 41%. While in the Open data Italy is 9th.


Women and Digital

Technology, everyone knows, in the public opinion is considered one of the biggest obstacles for women, but according to a study by the EU Commission with an equal percentage of women and men in the digital sector, the EU GDP will rise by 9 billion per year.

Indeed the businesses where the number of women in the boards is larger are 35% more profitable than the others. The female managers in the digital sector are still underrepresented , around 19.2% in Europe. Women leave the digital sector often in the middle of the career more often than men : 20% of graduates in information technology works in this sector, after 45 years of age the percentage decreases to 9%. But being manager in the digital area for women means earning 6% more than other women working in the same sector << We need to encourage young women to study scientific subjects and digital instruments: only 9% of developers are women and the percentage of women graduates in information technology is extremely low : only 3% compared with 10% of male graduates>> said the MEP Alessia Mosca opening a debate organized jointly with Google in Brussels for women day, March 8th.

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