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the 2011 Mutationelles study, carried out for Orange, shows that the digital sector is the top employer of female engineers


Paris - In 2011, the digital sector (manufacturing of electronics and IT equipment, software and computing services, telecommunications) employs 14% of female engineers, ahead of the agri-food and chemistry industries.
The salary gap between male and female engineers is lowest in digital sector companies.

digital: top sector for women’s engineering jobs in 2011
Growth in this sector, which in 2010 accounted for 14% of all recruitments of female engineers, ahead of the agri-food (11%) and chemistry (10%) sectors, is being driven by the dynamic nature of digital technologies. Presently, the digital sector is the biggest employer: 14% of female engineers have a post in this sector, compared with 10.1% in agri-food and 8% in chemistry.

The digital sector also boasts the highest levels of employability, with less than 5% of women looking for work in software and computing services or electronics and IT equipment manufacturing, compared with an average of 7.2% across the whole of engineering. This figure is even lower in telecommunications, with just 2% of female engineers looking for work. In the two other major sectors which recruit female engineers, employability levels are lower, with 8.6% of female engineers looking for work in agri-food and 7.6% in chemistry.

digital sector companies get close to equal pay
While the salary gap between male and female engineers is still substantial (26% on average, with a median salary of €44K for women and €55K for men), there are major differences between sectors.
While in some sectors, the salary gap reaches 40 to 60%, the lowest gaps are in the digital sector: in software and computing services, where the median salary for female engineers is €41K, the salary gap is 12%. Similarly, in electronics and IT equipment manufacturing, the salary gap is 15%, with a median female engineer’s salary of €50K. Telecommunications is the industry with both the highest level of remuneration (€58K), and virtually equal pay, with a gap of just 1%.

the career decisions taken by young female engineers do not always reflect labour market trends
Young women repeatedly choose to pursue courses of study in industries which do not create the most jobs: in 2010, 35% gained a qualification in the agri-food or chemistry sectors, where employability is average. Conversely, the Information and Communication Technologies and Services sector, although one of the most buoyant in terms of jobs, is attracting fewer candidates than three years ago: there was a 5% drop in the number of women training in this sector between 2007 and 2010.
As a consequence, the proportion of women looking for work is still over 7% despite an overall increase in the recruitment of female engineers in 2011 compared with 2010.

2011 also confirms a behavioural shift which began three years ago: a growing proportion of young women are entering either generalist training (+39% from 2007 to 2010), or new fields of specialisation like Civil Engineering, or training courses in electrotechnology, automation and electricity.

Orange sponsors Science Factor, a competition designed to raise awareness among female high-school students of the advantages of scientific industries
As part of its continuing commitment to gender equality in the digital professions and its policy of gender equality in the workplace, Orange is sponsoring the Science Factor competition launched on Facebook ( with the support of the French Ministries of National Education and Higher Education and Research.
High-school students are invited to form project teams and report back on what they would love to invent or create using science and technology. The defining feature of this competition is that each team will be led by a young woman, in order to encourage gender equality, which Orange and its competition partners see as a critical success factor.
In January 2012, the five best projects will be presented to a jury chaired by Mrs Claudie Haigneré, President of Universcience.
In addition, Orange is committed to promoting the feminization of technical and scientific training courses. Orange has launched for example a shadowing program in several entities of the Group. Through this initiative, a female high-school student spends one day with a female engineer or technician, so that she can gain first-hand experience of a day at work, moving beyond stereotypes. She will then submit a video report of this experience, that can be used for educational purposes.
‘Capital filles’ is another example of an initiative that was launched by Orange. The program, which started up in 2010, helps girls from working-class neighborhoods to consider pursuing a career in fields that are traditionally for men thanks to a part-time schedule for work and studies, and a mentoring system with women managers from Orange.

Orange recruits
Orange has made a commitment to recruiting 10,000 new employees under permanent contracts in 2010 through 2012. Its job and internship offers are available on and on the Orange Jobs application for iPhone.
About Orange
France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with 170,000 employees worldwide, including 102,000 employees in France, and sales of 22.6 billion euros in the first semester 2011. Present in 35 countries, the Group had a customer base of 217.3 million customers at 30 June 2011, including 143 million customers under the Orange brand, the Group’s single brand for internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the company operates. At 30 June 2011, the Group had 158.3 million mobile customers and 14 million broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

With its industrial project, “conquests 2015”, Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group’s ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development
France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited, Orange France or France Telecom.


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