When we think of the tech industry we think of cutting edge ideas, new inventions, and genius beyond our imagination. We naturally assume tech companies embrace new and different ways of doing things--breaking the rules and breaking them again.
You would think this forward-thinking applies to diversity and the progress women are making in getting equal presence and pay in the workforce--especially in the tech industry. But what is the actual status? As we are in the midst of National Women's History month, I did some digging to get a clear view of what's really going on for women in tech.
Women in Tech: What's the Status?
- While women make up 59% of the total workforce, they are averaging only 30% of the workforce across major tech companies.
- That 30% includes both tech and non-tech jobs, like marketing and HR. When it comes to representation of women in tech jobs at tech companies, they can't seem to break even 20 percent: women hold only 17 percent of the tech jobs at Google, 15 percent at Facebook, and 10 percent at Twitter.
- Women-owned companies in New York City today get just 17 percent of venture funding.
- Of the 41 Fortune 500 companies in the technology sector, only five have a female CEO.
- Only 14.3 percent of board seats of the top 100 tech companies are held by women.
- A 2013 study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that men are two times as likely to be hired for a job in mathematics when the only difference between candidate profiles is gender.
- Nearly 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either don't enter the field at all or quit soon after. Women in tech with business degrees also tend to leave the industry before rising in rank.
The above statistics show a tough reality for women in tech, but there is hope. Now more than ever we are realizing the importance of diversity for innovation and impact. Recruiting efforts for women are stronger and stronger. CEOs are taking action, including providing training to help people recognize their unconscious biases and investigating salaries to ensure fairness in pay.
The battle certainly isn't over yet, but we're continuing to make progress.