Youth is the time of life full of promise – let’s do it!

Young women and men have almost the same expectations of working in a science-related field, but with age and at higher levels of education, women tend to move away from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and ICT subjects. Available data (‘Women in the digital age’, 2018) shows that only one in three STEM graduates is a woman. The pace of change is not promising, as the percentage of women in ICT jobs in the European Union (EU) increased by only 0.5 % between 2012 and 2016.”[i]

In what concern to young women, last year, 71% had the highest participation in the StayOn project. Only 18% of these young women graduated and, of these 18%, only 30% choose STEM or ICT degrees.

In our work, we also observed that 15% of these young graduates, without any kind of degree in STEM or ICT, showed some kind of interest in receiving training in IT or entrepreneurship. These data represent what is referred to by the European objectives of the Plan for Digital Education[ii].

“Fewer and fewer women are interested in participating in the digital sector, whether in higher education, employment or entrepreneurship. The Commission study “She Figures – Gender in research and innovation: statistics and indicators” (2021)[iii]confirms this trend.

According to the study, women represent only 20% of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) graduates and only 17% have jobs in the technology sector. Women also represent only 24% of independent professionals in technical professions such as science, engineering or ICT.

An example of this was the training choices of the young people in the StayOn project in Portugal, which were mostly related to Business Skills, Digital Marketing, Introduction to Graphic Design, Digital Skills, Web Marketing and Analytics, and Salary Procedure. And as a complement to learning, the Co-innovation laboratories dynamized by CRESAÇOR provided contact with the Azorean business sector.

The entrepreneurial skills, particularly of young women, increase their confidence to use them creatively to identify opportunities, innovate and create value for society. Broadening professional horizons also involves knowing different ways of working, and contact with entrepreneurs and companies from different activity sectors.

For both, men and women: youth is the time of life full of promise, aspiration and energy. Between childhood and adulthood, youth is when men and women are most eager to strike out to secure their futures and to contribute to their families, communities, and societies. This stage of life is crucial in determining young people’s paths to achieving productive employment and decent work. Let’s do it!

CRESAÇOR – StayOn Project
IG: @stayon_project
FB: @stayonproject21

[i] European Institute for Gender Equality: Women and men in ICT: a chance for better work-life balance, 2018


[iii] She figures 2021 – Publications Office of the EU (


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