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Today's Tech: Women in tech could boost European economy by £7.5bn PA and Iranian cyber-commander suspected assassinated by US

A European Commission survey published today has found that bringing more women into the digital sector could boost Europe's economy by €9 billion (£7.6 billion) a year. The study found that there is a desperate shortage of women qualified to work in IT, and that this paucity has led to a massive deficit in the European labour force. "Of 1,000 women with a Bachelors or other first degree, only 29 hold a degree in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (as compared to 95 men), and only 4 in 1000 women will eventually work in the ICT sector." The study also found that "Only 19.2% of ICT-sector workers have female bosses, compared to 45.2% of non-ICT workers", and that women were much more likely than men to leave the sector mid-career, rather than continuing on through maturity.

A commander in the Iranian Cyber War Headquarters has been found dead. Mojtaba Ahmadi was discovered in a forested area near the city of Karaj, and early reports from the Iranian police and the Revolutionary guard website Alborz disclosed that he had been shot. The Karaj police commander claimed that two men on motorbikes were also involved. However, the Revolutionary Guard released a statement this morning claiming that his death had been due to a "horrific accident", and not an assassination. The death comes just five days after US officials accused Iranian hackers of breaching the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), the largest internal network in the world. It also comes amid a historic thaw in Iran-US relations. An eyewitness reported that there were "two bullet wounds on his body."

As more and more products utilise wireless connectivity, spectrum is becoming increasingly in demand, yet it remains a limited resource. White space technology utilises the gaps between frequency bands in radio spectrum, so is able to boost the amount of spectrum available. In April, Ofcom announced a white space trial that would use the gaps in the frequency bands used to broadcast digital terrestrial TV. It believes that the technology could help support the 50 billion devices forecast to be connected to the Internet wirelessly by 2020. Now, the telecoms regulator has revealed the 20 firms including BT, Microsoft and Google which will take part in the pilot over the next six months.

Social Venture Network [SVN] has launched an Indiegogo campaign that aims to help fund startups that aren't predominantly male- and white-led. The 26-year-old non-profit is looking to assist women and minority entrepreneurs with a crowdsourcing campaign that will try and address the odds stacked firmly against any startup that isn't run by white males. "Investors tend to go with what they know and look in familiar circles for investment opportunities," SVN executive director Deb Nelson told VentureBeat. "Women and people of colour often get missed." SVN quotes figures that state female-led enterprise startups are on average 40 per cent less likely to be funded but generate 15 per cent greater revenue, according to a study by Emory University. When it comes to minority-led startups it's a similar story as they are 35 per cent less likely to be funded than startups led by white males.