A few days ago I attended jobstic an event in Toulouse, France that talked about the various existing roles in the digital and the ICT (Information and communications technology) sector, its evolution the last couple of years and most importantly the part it is playing in the french economy today. Here are a couple of interesting points I noted and I wanted to share with you.
The importance of the digital industry in the french economy
People and society as a whole were, are and always will be reluctant to change. Guy Mamou-Mani, director of the Syntec, a union that represents digital professionals in France, explained that we should embrace the digital change and he brought up some relevant statistics to prove his idea. In fact, the digital industry represents today about 400 000 jobs which is more than the aeronautic and the pharmaceutical industries. On top of that, soon it will contribute to the french economic growth by 25 %.
Also, I was curious to know what was the larger scope and I went to investigate further. I found out that the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) which accounts for 34 countries published a recent study on the digital economy today. The main takeaway we can learn from that report is that the ICT market is stabilising over the years. On the below graph we can observe that during the recent economic crisis from 2008 to 2012- in comparison to the dot.com bubble -from 2000 to 2003- the employment growth in the ICT sector has quickly adapted and was less affected.
Overall, these are good signs proving that the digital economy is contributing to the French market and to the OECD countries as a whole.
Women contribution in the digital economy
In that digital journey women can play an essential role, however they represents only 27,4% in France in that sector according to a study made in 2011 by the INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies).
In order to involve them in the ICT and the digital field Guy Mamou-Mani, argued that we should promote role models to create an interest in that field and those role models could recommend and support other women that are eager to be part of that change. Two organisations that I know already does that well and they are Women in the digital (Les femmes dans le numériques) and Cyberelles.
Second, Alain Ayache, the director of ENSEEIHT, the largest of France’s National Schools of Engineering, explained that it’s all about perceptions and we need to change our French biased view that women can not work in the ICT and digital sector.
What needs to be done ?
Overall, the French digital economy is more stable and greatly contributing to the economy as a whole. 93,4 % created jobs in that field are permanent roles which proves that it is a steady growth and a market to invest in. In order, to support that growth two main steps needs to be achieved : First, understand the needs and requirements of businesses and second create trainings and develop professionals that will fit those needs.
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