According to the European Commission report “Gender Equality Strategy: Striving for a Union of equality” released on 5 March 2020, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Gender equality is a core principle of the European Union, but it is not yet a reality. … Using only half of the population, half of the ideas or half of the energy is not good enough.” Moreover, gender equality is not only a matter of concern for women. It is a matter of concern for all of us. Several pieces of evidence highlight the importance of building positive attitudes towards gender equality. According to the European Commission, “children are exposed to gender roles that shape their self-perception and influence their academic and professional choices as well as expectations of their roles as women and men throughout their life. Furthermore, gender stereotypes keep on influencing choices with regard to employment and combination of work and private life”. Moreover, some key findings of the European Commission’s She Figures 2018 report show that “women are still a minority in science and engineering occupations in most countries”. The She Figures publication, is released every three years since 2003. In addition, according to Unesco 2017 report “Cracking the code”, “education systems and schools play a central role in determining girls’ interest in STEM subjects and in providing equal opportunities to access and benefit from quality STEM education”. Furthermore, in the same article, it is stated that “learning contents and materials also impact on girls’ performance in STEM”. Finally, as it is stated at the European Schoolnet website which is the network of 34 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels, “skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are becoming an increasingly important part of basic literacy in today’s knowledge economy” and then it continues stating that “yet science education can no longer be viewed as elite training for future scientists or engineers; only science-aware citizens can make informed decisions and engage in dialogue on science-driven societal issues”.
The aim of DIGI4EQUALITY (A DIGItal toolkit for promoting gender EQUALITY in science and technology) project is concerned with developing a novel toolbox by which professionals can attract, reach out and assist students to raise awareness and tackle gender stereotypes in society and in occupational choices in a digitalised world. To achieve this aim, the DIGI4EQUALITY project will have these objectives: