Digital: HCE condemns “vicious cycle” of sexism – Image

The High Council for Equality condemned the “vicious cycle of sexism” that excludes women from future sectors that shape the mentality. “A world made by and for men. This is how we can summarize a digital sector that tends to hide, caricature, attack and exclude women. In terms of content, their image is very worrying. In this sector, their presence is still too minority.” , observed the HCE, in a report submitted on Tuesday to the Minister responsible for Gender Equality Bérangère Couillard.

The report analyzes the hundred most popular pieces of content across three major platforms: YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. HCE interviewed around forty experts (National Education, higher education, entrepreneurship, social networks, etc.).

“Self-assessment report”?

Only 8% of videos on YouTube are made by women. On Instagram, 68% of content propagates gender stereotypes and one in five comments are sexist. On TikTok, 42% of humor and entertainment threads contain derogatory representations of women, according to the study. “The image of women presented on the internet is problematic and reinforces stereotypes and sexism,” said HCE president Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, who wants the country to take “decisive and restrictive measures”.

This independent consultative body, placed under the Prime Minister, recommended that the platforms be required to submit an annual “self-assessment report” on the position of women, under the supervision of Arcom (audiovisual and digital Regulatory Authority), as television and radio. the channel should already be doing it. For HCE, this “troubled” image of women is a reflection of the “strongly sexist culture” in the digital sector, which is largely dominated by men.

Delays in France

Only 29% of the digital workforce in France were women in 2020, including 16% in technical professions and 22% in management positions, noted HCE which lamented that women were “pushed to the margins of the technological advances that are shaping our future”. “France is very late. Many countries, including China and India, have more women in the digital sector,” added Ms. Pierre-Brossolette.

This is mainly due to the low attendance of girls in scientific and digital training courses. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, women represented 31% of those training in basic sciences, higher education, and only 23% in computer science, according to the report entitled “Invisible women in digital technology: the vicious circle of sexism”. Women choose less scientific training, “because of a lack of female role models and barriers to getting guidance from those around them, but also because of fears of sexism”, HCE estimates.

“The image presented in digital technology shows that women are not made for scientific careers. They are caricatured as idiots and bimbos. The fewer girls who learn digital technology, the fewer companies will be able to hire them,” commented Ms. Pierre-Brush.

Quota required

To break this “vicious circle”, HCE recommends “women’s quotas” in the digital sector, in high school as well as higher education, and a “bonus system” in ParcoursSup for women who wish to undertake this training. He recommends training teachers in new pedagogies in teaching mathematics and digital technologies by highlighting the professional opportunities they offer. “It’s unfair, because girls don’t have access to future careers. And companies that lack workers won’t get as many skills,” said Pierre-Brossolette.

Garfield Woolery

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