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Research projects
WWW-ICT - Widening Women's Work in Information and Communication Technology - for the European programme Information Society Technologies (IST), fifth framework programme of RTD (2002-2004)


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Welcome on the web page of WWW-ICT, archived in August 2008

Final synthesis report (July 2004)

Cette page existe aussi en version française.


Why are there so few women among the professionals of information and communication technology (ICT)? What are the barriers to women choosing and developing careers in ICT professions, and what changes are likely to improve their access and position in this labour market? This European project (Information Society Technologies, 5th Framework Programme) hinges on the development of an integrated approach to the different aspects of gender disparity in the ICT professions. It combines explanatory factors linked to education and training, with the conditions of work and employment, and with the technical and professional culture of ICT. Research teams in seven countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and United Kingdom) have carried out in-depth empirical studies. They suggest targeted recommendations for agents of change in this area.

In memoriam: Laurence d'Ouville

Laurence d'Ouville accidentally died in December 2006. She was the WWW-ICT project manager at ANACT (Lyon). Through two years of intensive collaboration, all the WWW-ICT partners appreciated her dynamism, her lucidity, her engagement for professional equality between women and men, and also her communicative enthousiasm and jovial character. Laurence is co-author of most WWW-ICT publications. Particularly she designed the awareness leaflets. We share the sorrow of her family and friends and we want to pay her a tribute through this web site.

Downloadable documents: final products

Final synthesis report

WWW-ICT final report

Valenduc G., Vendramin P., Guffens C. (FTU), Ponzellini A.M., Lebano A. (FRPS), D'Ouville L., Collet I. (ANACT), Wagner I., Birbaumer A., Tolar M. (TUW), Webster J. (RCWE), Widening Women's Work in Information and Communication Technologies, final synthesis report, European Commission (IST-2001-34520), July 2004 (148 pp.)

Downloadable in two PDF versions: electronic version of the printed document (736 kB) or active PDF document with bookmarks (882 kB, compressed)

Single free copies of the paper version of the final synthesis report are available on request by e-mail to the project coordinator, at postage costs: 2.20 € in Belgium, 5.65 € in Europe, 8.95 € outside Europe. Please indicate clearly your postal address.

Awareness leaflets (also web version in French)

A series of three 6-pages leaflets ainming at presenting research conclusions and recommendations for three groups of "agents of change": enterprises and their business partners; institutions for education and vocational training; women's associations, trade unions and institutions for equal opportunities.

Leaflet HRM Leaflet training Leaflet women Printed versions of awareness leaflets are available on request by e-mail: in French and English to FTU; in German to TUW and in Italian to FRPS.
Leaflet for companies, human resource managers, recruiters, etc.
Leaflet for schools and universities, training providers and lifelong learning institutions
Leaflet for women's associations, women's groups in trade unions, organisations for equal opportunities

Conclusions and recommendations

Conclusions are presented under four headings: education and training; women's working conditions; labour market and labour relations; women's trajectories. Recommendations start from the question: what are the conditions that can make ICT professions and careers more attractive for women? The document briefly describes the steps leading from conclusions to recommendations. Then it presents, in a synoptic view, the recommendations, the concerned agents of change, and example of good practices supporting the relevance of the recommendations. Recommendations are finally detailed according to different European policy areas.
The document is an excerpt of the final synthesis report, downloadable in PDF format (46 pp.)

Downloadable documents: scientific reports

Inventory and analysis of good practices

Final version: February 2004. This report summarises and analyses the information gathered on good practices aimed at improving women's place in ICT professions in Europe. After an introductory comment on the definition criteria of "good" practices, chapter I presents a structured overview of collected good practices, highlighting their key formal characteristics and situating them with regard to the variety of ICT professions. Chapter III draws some avenues for development and evolution of these practices, stressing the importance of driving forces and mobilising initiators. Chapter IV develops methodological recommendations related to quality criteria and evaluation process of good practices in this area. Chapter V draws conclusions and recommendations, and summarises the key arguments supporting the recommendations. Seven annexes present inventories of selected good practices in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and the UK.
The full report is downloadable in PDF format (118 pp. including annexes). Annexes are published together the body text, as they provide quite practical, concrete and useful information on the collected good practices.

Case studies of work organisation

Final version: February 2004. The report presents the analysis and synthesis of 14 sectoral overviews and 28 case studies of enterprises in two sectors (computer services and e-publishing) and seven countries. Chapters I and II are respectively devoted to a comparative analysis of work and employment in the computer services industry and the e-publishing industry, with an emphasis on social aspects and gender issues. Chapter III describes the case study analysis in computer services and chapter IV in e-publishing. Chapter V highlights some national and contextual issues related to women's work in these sectors across Europe. Chapter VI presents conclusions under two main headings: labour markets; organisational structures and practices.
This synthesis report is downloadable in PDF format (124 pp. including annexes summarising the main features of case studies). Detailed reports on sectoral overviews and case studies in each country will be made available on request by e-mail to the project coordinator.

Professional trajectories and biographies

First final version: January 2004. The report starts presenting the conclusions from the biographical interviews, as a 12-pages executive summary. The next chapter analyses more precisely the key characteristics and varied profiles of women's biographies in ICT. The third chapter draws eight clusters of career patterns for women in ICT, based on a multi-criteria analysis of the coded biographical sheets gathered by the seven research teams in their country. The fourth chapter accounts for a more in-depth qualitative analysis of life-story patterns. The fifth chapter comments specific aspects of the male biographies and stresses the common and different points as regards female biographies. Annex 1 contains the seven synthesis reports on biographical interviews in each country. Annex 2 summarises the quantitative analysis of the coded biographical sheets and explains the methodology of cluster analysis.
Two versions are downloadable in PDF format: the full version, including the annexes (274 pp.) and a "light" version, containing chapters 1-5 without the annexes (68 pp.).

Conceptual framework and state of the art

(September 2002, updated April 2003, English, 156 pp., downloadable PDF file)
This report describes the various dimensions of gender disparties in ICT professions and discusses a set of interacting explicative factors. It relies on a state of the art of existing research in this area.

Other downloadable articles or presentations 2004-2008

Patricia Vendramin
Women's work in ICT in Europe: how to explain disparities ?
14th International Conference on Women Engineers and Scientists (IWECS14), Lille, July 2008

Gérard Valenduc, Patricia Vendramin
Work organisation and skills in ICT professions: the gender dimension
Conference "ICT, the knowledge society and changes in work", Den Haag, June 2005

Gérard Valenduc
Women's trajectories in ICT professions
International conference of the WINNET network, Brussels, Novembre 2005.

Gérard Valenduc, Patricia Vendramin, Caroline Guffens
La place des femmes dans les métiers des TIC
Revue Wallonie, n° 80, Liège, septembre 2004

Project partners WWW-ICT

Fondation Travail-Université (FTU)
Project co-ordinators: Patricia Vendramin ( and Gérard Valenduc (

National Agency for the Improvement of Working Conditions (ANACT)
Project manager: Laurence D'Ouville

Vienna University of Technology (TUW), Institute for Technology Assessment and Design
Project manager: Ina Wagner (

Fondazione Pietro Seveso
Project manager : Anna Ponzellini (

Research and Consultancy in Work and Employment
Project manager: Juliet Webster (

University of Lisbon, Centre for Social Research and Intervention (CIS)
Project manager: Paula Castro (

Trinity College, Employment Research Centre (ERC)
Project manager: James Wickham (


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