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Slideshow: Where Have All the Tech Women Gone?

Despite a lot of discussion and attention, the gap between male and female technology talent continues. Perhaps it's time for another round of debate. Are companies not hiring enough female employees, or there are not enough female tech talent to hire? Or is it a combination of both?

Recent diversity reports issued by companies such as Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Intel, HP, and (most recently) Facebook reveal that, despite worldwide criticism, the technology industry remains male-dominated.

Technology companies should take a closer look at their figures and consider hiring more female workers to make their organizations more dynamic and balanced. Also, women who have chosen engineering and other tech-related careers might want to explore the opportunities offered by technology companies.

Click the chart below for a slideshow on the gender breakdown of these tech companies.

31 comments on “Slideshow: Where Have All the Tech Women Gone?

  1. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 16, 2014

    I find it heartening that organizations are willing to hold themselves accountable for some of these trends. Knowing where we are (really, in hard numbers) is a good first step. I think that many organizations will see attracting and training women as a real challenge. And as the numbers increase, women will see the opportunity more and more.

  2. Adeniji Kayode
    September 17, 2014

    I think its even getting better now unlike many years back when women are not allowed to study science.

  3. Ariella
    September 17, 2014

    I think we have to look at the proportions even earlier. How many girls are taking programming classes in high school? How many go on to major in tech in college? How do their numbers compare to their male counterparts? Tech and engineering have always been male-dominated fields. When I taught at NJIT, some students noted that women were in the minority there. 

  4. t.alex
    September 18, 2014

    There is a huge shortage of women in the tech industry, sadly. Therefore, tech companies tend to hire women more nowadays. However, tech career did not interest in woman back in school. Also, it also could be due to tech companies like to hire man more than women because they think men could do better job.

     

     

  5. Susan Fourtané
    September 18, 2014

    Adeniji, 

    What do you mean women are not allowed to study science? :/

    -Susan

  6. Adeniji Kayode
    September 19, 2014

    @Susan, I did a course long time ago titled ” History of Mathematics” where Egypt was said to be the centre of civilization THEN , i hope you know that Algebra and Trigonometry started from there and then they lost it and the rest of the world took them further, then women are not allowed to study Mathematics and some other science subjects THEN. Amazingly, looking around the world now, though may be few but women are doing well these days in some of the areas dominated by men in time past.

  7. Adeniji Kayode
    September 19, 2014

    @ Ariella, I think it boils down to past orientation given to women but visible changes are taking place now. Expect to see a change tending to the side of the women in the coming years.

  8. Adeniji Kayode
    September 19, 2014

    @t.alex, Companies also feel men are more stable emotionally than women and that they can handle hard tasks.

  9. Adeniji Kayode
    September 19, 2014

    I feel it also has to do with up-bringing, most parents would buy a toy car and gun for their mail children and buy a doll for their female children. Don't you think its start from there?

  10. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 19, 2014

    Adeniji, I have to agree up to a point. When my first daughter was born, I was not going to fall into this trap–so i bought blocks and trucks and other gender neutral toys. She only wanted dolls… “Baby, baby!” she'd say even at 18 months old. She's at college now, studying to be a pediatrician… she loves science, but she still loves babies even more. 🙂 So it may be nurture to an extent, but there's also a nature component.

  11. Adeniji Kayode
    September 20, 2014

    @Hailey, I certainly agree with you on that, there is a mother in every girl-child In your case, i feel two factors must have led to that 1. You must have been a good and caring mother 2. You daughter discovered her passion early and she eventually pursued it.

  12. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 22, 2014

    Seems like more women have stopped waiting for corporate opporutunity and are making opportunities for themselves. I just heard from a business contact some interesting stats:

    Women are starting 1,288 new businesses per day.
    According to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the number of women-owned businesses has increased at 1.5 times the national average.

     

    I read through the report…it doesn't break it out by industry…but i'd like to think there's some electronics and supply chain businesses in there!

  13. Eldredge
    September 22, 2014

    @Hailey – Becoming a pediatrician seems like a good combination of both loves. My daughter went the law route – I tried to get her interested in intellectual property, which would have benefited from a science or engineering undergrad. But, she is doing what she loves – and that is very important.

  14. Adeniji Kayode
    September 23, 2014

    Among many other factors, environment has great effect in this matter to a great deal. But few years back till now has records of more women taking interest in science and technology.

  15. Susan Fourtané
    September 23, 2014

    Adeniji, 

    That History of Mathematics course was probably very interesting. Of course I know about Algebra and Trigonometry. 🙂 I am a woman of this present Era. 😀 

    So you were talking about Ancient Egypt. Now I see what you meant. I thought you were saying that women are not allowed to study sciences now, somewhere, or some time in the near past.

    I didn't think of that far in history because well, it's too far. Things are supposed to have improved in more  than two thousand years. Even though sometimes it seems so much is just the same. 🙁 

    -Susan

  16. Susan Fourtané
    September 23, 2014

    Adeniji, 

    “Companies also feel men are more stable emotionally than women and that they can handle hard tasks.”

    That is a old misconception. Saying that is like saying men don't have emotions. And, I know quite many men who are not stable emotionally. This is only to say that emotional stability is not a matter of gender, but a matter of personality. 

    -Susan

  17. Susan Fourtané
    September 24, 2014

    Adeniji, 

    Yes. In good part it starts from upbringing. Everything starts with parenting. That's why there should be a parenting school. parenting is the only life-long occupation with responsibility that doesn't require any training, and it's wrong.

    Than it countinues in scociety in general making gender differences. Those boys and girls who were programmed by their parents in the wrong way with targeted toys, and other things are going to take that way of thinking to the enterprise.

    That's why still today there is so much difference between male and female employees in regards of salary, treatment, and other things. 

    Also, how many women still believe the only function they can have in society is to find a husband, get married, have children, and that's it. 

    There is scientific research about the benefits for a company of having a good balance between male and female employees. 

    -Susan

  18. Susan Fourtané
    September 24, 2014

    Hailey, 

    How interesting that about your daughter. When did she first say she wanted to become a pediatrician? 

    -Susan 

  19. Susan Fourtané
    September 24, 2014

    Hailey, 

    “Seems like more women have stopped waiting for corporate opporutunity and are making opportunities for themselves.”

    Indeed. As we were discussing below, I believe upbringing and early encounters with technology and how things work play a sifnificant role in the future development. Of course, this can't be aplied as an absolute formula, just as anything in this world is absolute. 

    However, if we look at some facts and figures of today we see a good number of women have started their own projects, their own startups, and have gathered in groups of women devolted to working in science and technology. 

    So, now we see more student engineers, developers, etc., many of which have played video games, computer games at an early stage in their lives. Toys are technology today. Little girls get to play with phones, tablets, and computers as much as little boys.

    One of the best parts of kids and technology is that absolutely no one can say “this is for boys” or “this is not for girls.” So, parents are trapped in that old thing. 😀  

    Then, we have to see that old, traditional toys have become way too boring for the curious kids. This has gaving me an idea: Next time I am close to a shopping mall, I might go to the toys department and see what's in offer there. I might even ask a shop assistant about sales. 😀 

    The only problem is that my little sample will not be representative of the world's situation. The Scandinavian and Nordic countries in general count with a high percentage of women in positions that are considered male dominated in other places. Colors for kids are always neutral. There is no pink and blue thing. Well. I will stop, or I will end up writing a book here. 

    -Susan  

     

  20. Susan Fourtané
    September 24, 2014

    Hailey, 

    “According to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the number of women-owned businesses has increased at 1.5 times the national average.”

    Interesting. It shoows prograss. It would be useful to see some gloabal figures as well.

    -Susan

  21. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @Susan, she fell in love with human biology in the middle of high school because she had a great teacher and a great opportunity to take college classes and do cadaver work. Now she's taking chemistry…she doesn't like that nearly so well! 🙂 I think it points to the importance of getting young people, male or female, engaged in STEM early and often.

  22. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @Susan, global would be intertesting. If i can find some, i'll definitely post them.

  23. haladf
    September 25, 2014

    The number of women in technology related industries is rising and is higher now than at any time since 1945. 

    What I have seen over the past 30 years is that there are few women being trained, that there is discouragement at schools, universities and in corporations.  Some of this is agressive sexism but some is fear – men don't know how to work with women or to teach them, so tend to ignore them.

    The rise in women in the small company and self employed market reflects a decline in corporate employment – the only way to get a job is to set up your own company, state help for those setting up a busines is better than for the unemployed and women are marginalized within the corporate structure.

    In a number of large corporations, I have seen men working in one department and women in another, so whilst there might be a large number of women in the building, they are in junior and support roles, not actively involved in technical functions.  I have rarely seenactive distrepect or hostility to women in technical roles, once they are there, they are treated as a worker and expected to perform as well as everyone else but the administration structure still seems to regard a woman as something to be treated differently.

     

    regards

  24. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @Ariella, I agree. I would add robotics clubs, Maker Faire and other STEM-focused events as a great thing to get young women involved.

  25. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @hagalrif, thanks for weighing in. I have seen much of what you mention. I have said this before but I was hired 25 years ago as a minority intern since women were a minority in technology. For me, it stuck.  However, I felt the weight of having to prove that I belonged where i was, rather than being handed the job on a platter. Have you seen programs or ways of dealing with the problem that really address the problem? What do we need to do to fix it?

  26. Susan Fourtané
    September 29, 2014

    Hailey, 

    Great teachers are always a great inspiration. 🙂 There should be more of those. In the same way, there are some teachers who are to blame for some students not developing their potential in certain areas as they would have done if they would have had great teachers instead. 

    How interesting that she got to do cadaver work. 😀 Maybe she didn't have a great chemistry teacher? :/ Or, maybe she needs to find the importance of chemistry, maybe get involved in some interesting chemitry project. 

    -Susan

  27. Susan Fourtané
    September 29, 2014

    hagalrif, 

    Hmm. It doesn't sound too good. :/ It would be terrible if in 70 yeras nothing would have changed. Still, the change has been slow and not enough since then. 

    May I ask in what part of the world is that you have been observed all that? Annother thing that happens is that the inclusion of women in technology greatly differers from one place to another.

    I believe there is much more attention to pay in certain parts of the world where there are brilliant women who could be contributing to the technological advancement of  their company/country. Yet, they are almost invisible. 

    -Susan

  28. Susan Fourtané
    September 29, 2014

    Hailey, 

    There are events and some organizations, but maybe not enough. 

    -Susan

  29. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 29, 2014

    A new study finds that having women in management directly translates to better business. I saw a Washington Post article about the new and large study from Credit Suisse:

  30. Susan Fourtané
    September 30, 2014

    How interesting. Thanks, Hailey. 

    -Susan

  31. ahdand
    September 30, 2014

    @Susan: It shows that the gender is not a problem or a deciding factor these days. There is equal opportunity all around. 

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