When it comes to shaping the digital world, the "Initiative Digitalisierung Chancengerecht" (IDC) aims to correct the "imbalance" between men and women.
Created by Doris Schmidauer, wife of Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, the IDC aims to implement 15 recommendations as outlined in the 2019 UNESCO publication "I’d blush if I could". Prof. Martina Mara, head of the Robopsychology Lab at LIT, is also involved in the initiative and during her presentation at an event in the Hofburg, she pointed out that in the field of information and communication technologies, only one in 14 patents is held by women. In the trending area of of machine learning, only 12% of researchers are female. "Something has to change." She said mankind simply cannot afford to do without the innovative power of half the population.
Schmidauer added that when it comes to creating these programs, women are hardly taken into account. This is why we should to "shout out together" that the digital transformation should not be created and shaped by men alone; it should be done humanely, democratically, socially, and ecologically. "We can only succeed providing equal opportunities are set as a goal." Doris Schmidauer emphasized that the coronavirus pandemic made structural inequalities clear and highly visible. There is an imbalance between men and women, especially in the digital world. Voice assistance systems such as Siri and Alexa have female voices, and the digital secretary is also a woman. "That's not a coincidence - digitalization programs don't just fall from the sky, they are made; they are programmed."