The GSMA held its first GSMA Connected Women conference in Europe, bringing together more than 250 telecommunications industry professionals to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing women in technology today. Through a range of keynote presentations and panel discussions, the GSMA Connected Women: Enriching the Mobile Ecosystem event explored how to attract, nurture and promote more female talent within the mobile industry, a sector that has revolutionised the lives of billions of people around the world.
“Women today comprise 40 per cent of the global workforce and account for more than half of university graduates, and yet we see only three to five per cent of senior management positions in technology being held by women,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “This is a critical challenge that we must address immediately – as an industry, we will be at a disadvantage if we cannot attract and retain the most talented individuals, many of whom are women. The Connected Women event focuses attention on the many opportunities available to women in technology, and particularly in mobile, and how we can foster the next generation of business leaders.”
According to a Grant Thornton International business report issued earlier this year, women hold only 21 per cent of senior management positions globally across all industries and over the last 10 years, this number has remained largely unchanged. Most studies put the number of women in senior management positions in technology companies even lower, at around three per cent to five per cent. In the 2012 Fortune 500 rankings, the number of female CEOs was 18, up from 12 in 2011, but women still accounted for only four per cent of the ranking.