Women have made strides in the tech industry over the past few years, with more women than ever occupying leadership roles, launching startups, and developing cutting edge products. From coding bootcamps to robotics competitions to hackathons, women have certainly been leaving their mark in the world of technology.
Despite some major gains and huge wins for women in tech, it’s no secret that there continue to be challenges and barriers that fuel the ongoing battle for gender parity. There is much more work to be done, but we’d say it’s actually a great time for women in Tech.
Companies are increasingly taking action to help close the gender gap in the tech workforce, combat outdated stimages and foster inclusive workplaces. More women are becoming founders of businesses in the U.S. than ever before too, and Venture Capital Funds are ensuring their portfolios are representative of that. And with more access to STEM education and training for young girls and women, the future looks bright.
To get a better understanding of the current direction of the tech industry, we’ll highlight some key stats, trends and hiring practices affecting women in tech and shout out some of the women breaking barriers and inspiring future founders! We’ll also list some of top tech careers job seekers can consider right now while navigating this changing landscape.
Need to Know Stats & Key Trends
Did you know that in 1970, just 8% of STEM jobs were held by women in the U.S. workforce? Today, that percentage hovers at 28% and within tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google & Microsoft, it’s slightly higher at 34.4%, according to LinkedIn.
What do these numbers mean for the tech workforce, though? In comparison to the U.S. workforce as a whole where women have a participation rate of ~57% (Bureau of Labor Statistics), there’s certainly a lot of room for improvement in the tech world and with it, room for opportunity.
According to Mckinsey, the most gender-diverse companies are 48% more likely to outperform the least gender-diverse companies! Companies know gender diversity is not only the right thing to work towards, but it’s also good for business and current trends are driving more positive changes for women in the tech industry.
Key Trends to Watch
Companies are committing to internal Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives
Many major companies across the U.S. like HP, Intel & Deloitte to name a few, have made public commitments to improving their workplaces and internal practices. This can include initiatives to promote women from within, especially to drive more sponsorship for women in leadership roles, implementing unconscious bias training for employees, executives and managers & as well as company-wide mentorship programs.
Increased hiring demand for women in tech
In addition to creating more equitable internal practices, companies have been looking for qualified women to fill engineering, product management and other fast growing fields with a focus on gender equality in new roles and in executive leadership positions. (McKinsey)
More support for women and girls in STEM education & coding programs
With no shortage of growth for STEM occupations, our education systems alongside organizations like Girls Who Code, Girls in Tech, Women Who Code and Anitab.org are working towards introducing STEM concepts in schooling at any early age to create better access for girls and women to STEM education and get them on the path to STEM careers.
More than 60% of Gen Z women started coding between the age of 16 – 21, which is a direct result of the rising number of opportunities for education, according to Women Tech Network.
Investment firms are implementing DEI practices to expand their portfolios to include more underrepresented founders
In a 2020 study from Women Who Tech, 86% of investors surveyed said their firms are implementing DEI practices to create more inclusive portfolios.
Current trends have the power to shift workforce dynamics that will ultimately help improve teams, products, services, and processes across the board and well into the future. It’s an exciting time for women in tech, and it’s clear that the industry is benefitting from their increased presence, contributions and leadership.
Just 26.5% of executive, senior-level and management positions in SP 500 companies are held by women, but the presence of powerful female founders, CEOS and leaders in the tech industry has had a profound impact on the future of women in tech! The women that have ‘broken the tech glass ceiling’ now serve as excellent role models and examples for those following in their footsteps. And although women shouldn’t and don’t need a business case to be in leadership - the evidence for women in leadership roles making the workplace better is strong (American Psychological Association). Women in top tiers of management can even help mitigate deep-rooted stereotypes that are expressed in language (PNAS), and for tech that could go a long way in continuing to take down barriers to inclusive workplaces and changing perceptions of what many call ‘tech-bro-culture.'
In recent years, we’ve actually seen a positive trend in the increase of women led startups. According to a 2017 Crunchbase study, the number of women-led tech startups has nearly doubled since 2014. With Venture Capital firms commitments to increase underrepresented groups in their portfolios, we expect the availability of venture capital resources to continue to increase!
Although not every VC backed female founder sees the same level of success, it’s clear that funding can be a strong indicator of profitability. Women led tech startups actually have a 35% higher ROI when venture backed and historically it’s been a good investment; there have been some trail-blazing tech companies that have gone public or been acquired from the leadership of women founders or co-founders.
No doubt women founders and co-founders are paving the way for more to follow in their footsteps and here’s are just a few household tech born from women founders with company names you’d recognize:
- Taskrabbit, founded by Leah Busque
- Canva, co-founded by Melanie Perkins
- Bumble, founded by Whitney Wolfe Heard
- Eventbrite, co-founded by Julia Hartz
- Care.com, founded by Sheila Lirio Marcelo
Top Tech Careers to Consider
All founders had to get their start somewhere, so if you’re looking to break into the tech field, here are a few suggestions from top growing fields and exciting roles to consider right now.
1. Engineering: Software Developer, Computer Systems Analyst, Quality Assurance Tester / Analyst
2. Cybersecurity: Information Security Analyst, Information Security Manager
3. Product Design: UX / UI Designer
4. Robotics: Project Manager, Robotics Engineer
5. Data science: Data Scientist, Data Analyst
These trends will hopefully continue to shape the future of the workforce for the better and have a positive impact on the tech industry as a whole.
It’s important that companies continue to foster an inclusive workplace as women break barriers, lead teams and departments and develop amazing technology.
Looking for a new tech role? Intelletec’s clients are hiring!
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