Women and technology is not a contradiction in terms. History has shown us women who made major contributions in the field of mathematics and computing. Ada Lovelace wrote the first algorithm for a machine that performed mathematical computations. Actress Hedy Lamarr co-invented a frequency-hopping radio signaling device considered the precursor of Wi-Fi and GPS. Margaret Hamilton was a software engineer who developed the on-board flight software for NASA’s Apollo moon program. The list goes on.
Despite all the evidence that point towards women having a place in the history of technology, there is a distinct lack of women in tech jobs—in opportunities, in hiring, in wages earned, and in positions filled.
This article compiles a list of relevant and current data on women in technology that highlights the under-representation of women in computing and mathematics roles —in leadership or tech positions—and what can be done to break the glass ceiling.
Women in Tech Statistics Table of Contents
Education for Women in Tech
The good news is that enrollment rates for women in college continue to climb, the drawback, women majoring in computing and engineering degrees are on a downward trend. Gen Z will make up 24% of the global workforce by 2020. Although Millennials are no slouch in the tech department, Gen Z women are digital natives, their interests and values in technology work in their favor.
- Enrollment for women in college is at 72% compared to men.
- College completion rates for women are increasing too at 58%.
- There is a decrease of 51.35% in computer science majors from 1984 to 2014.
- Women only make up 20% of engineering graduates while in the engineering workforce, only 16% are women.
- Gen-Z women are digital natives; one in three learned to code before their 16th birthday.
- Only 38% of women who majored in computer science are working in the field versus 53% for men. The stats for women with an engineering degree are 24% compared to 30% for men.
- Decreasing female student attrition in STEM courses in college by 25% will increase the talent pool by 220,000 people.
Tech Skills Perception of Women
Gender diversity in tech is hampered by the belief of the helpless female working with technology. Though far from true, it is an image that reinforces the belief women aren’t meant for tech jobs. Children, boys and girls, show an interest in STEM at a young age but girls’ interest start to taper off at age 15. Peer pressure, ridicule, and a lack of female role models are seen as reasons for the decline in interest.
- Code written by women is accepted 78.6% of the time provided the programmer’s gender was not known. The acceptance rate is 4% higher than acceptance rates for code written by men.
- Women in Europe show an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at age 11 and lose interest at about 15.
- Learned technical helplessness is a behavior where girls and women do not bother to learn tech skills when the typical response to tech or math problems is to solved for them instead of being walked through it. This is a reason why female programmers are only 25%. Gender in the Tech Industry
Gender in the Tech Industry
The closest to employment parity a tech company has achieved is Netflix with 48% female employees to 52% male. Both Netflix and Amazon tech job ratios are unavailable. Google, Facebook, and Apple are all at 23% while Microsoft is at the low end of the spectrum, at 20%. These rates are the norm. Although efforts have been underway at major tech companies and other businesses to equalize the gap in pay and gender distribution, the fact is, it will take 100 years before this is achieved.
- Women hold only 26% of computing jobs.
- There is a turnover rate of 41% for women in tech industry jobs as opposed to 17% for men.
- Women make up only 12% in engineering jobs at Silicon Valley.
- Leadership roles in Silicon Valley do not fare better with women filling in only 11% of executive positions.
- Women developers, regardless of age, are more likely to be stuck in junior positions—20.4% of women over the age of 35 are in junior roles compared to only 5.9% in men.
- Women CEOs in the Tech sector are only 10.2% vs. 89.8% for men, Fintech is 6.7% vs. 93.7% while Pharma and Biotech is at 14.7% vs. 85.3%.
- Women only represent 16% of the hiring pool for tech jobs.
India has 35% of women in the IT industry compared to 17% for the UK and 20% for the US.
- Less than 10% of startups in the world are owned or led by Women.
- 100,000 tech jobs are created in the UK annually, of that number, only 14% will be filled by women.
- Women in senior IT leadership roles grew 14.3% in 2019 from the previous year.
- Despite the upward trend of women in leadership roles, only 25% of women are confident they could be promoted to executive management in their company.
- There has been only a 2% increase in female software engineer hires in the last 20 years.
- A mere 5% of tech startups are owned by women.
- Fortune 500 companies with a minimum of 3 women directors had an increase of 53% average return on equity.
- Fortune 500 companies with a minimum of 3 women directors had 66% increase in return on invested capital.
- Women in tech jobs at Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft average at 23%.
- Women in leadership roles at Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft average at 27.5%.
- 50% of women admit to experiencing a form of gender discrimination at work.
- 48% of women in computing and tech jobs report discrimination in the recruitment and hiring process
Women From Marginalized Groups in Tech
The odds are stacked against women but the hurdles are even higher for women of color and minorities. There is a lack of available funding for women-led startups that the average funding raised by black women for their startups is $42,000. The number of startups founded by black women number 221 from 28 US states out of 50. The results for Hispanic women startup founders are even more abysmal—65 startups from 16 states.
- College-aged women of color or Hispanic and Native American ancestry make up only 18% of the college population, smaller still are the percentages of those who completed a computing degree (6%) and an engineering degree (3%).
- Black women have raised $0 median amount of funding.
- Black women have raised 0.00006% of all tech venture capital funding from 2009 to 2019.
- Of the total percentage of women working in tech (25%), Asian women are 5%, Black women are 3%, and Hispanic women are just 1%.
- Women of color and Hispanics are less likely to be hired for a tech role compared to white women.
- Black women only make 18% of entry-level jobs in tech compared to 30% for white women and 35% for men.
Wage Gap in Tech Jobs
Narrow The Gap shows the varied wage gap women and men earn across different occupations but the average is 82 cents to the dollar men make. Age and race are also wage gap factors. For every dollar a man earns in a tech job, White women make 96 cents, Asian women 95 cents, while Black and Hispanic women make 90 cents. The aforementioned rates were from 2018 while the rate mentioned in bullet number 4 is from 2019, showing a 14.6% decrease.
- Men are offered higher salaries 63% of the time. Women were offered anywhere from 4% to 45% less pay for the same position.
- Women underbid their skills 66% of the time and ask for starting pay 6% lower than men’s salaries.
- The wage gap for women in tech roles is as high as 8% for data analytics, design, and software engineering.
- Women only earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns in computer and mathematical fields in 2019. This comes up to $15,860 in lost annual income.
- Mothers in breadwinner roles are 40% of the working population. Mothers are also getting 4% less in hourly earnings.
- Women-led startups and venture capitalists received only 2.8% of the total capital invested in startups in 2019.
- US-BLS | College Enrollment and Work Activity of Recent High School and College Graduates Summary
- DreamHost | The State of Women in Tech 2020
- US News | Study: Middle School Is Key to Girls’ Coding Interest
- 2019 HackerRank Women in Tech Report – Emergence of Gen Z
- CIO | Women in tech statistics: The hard truths of an uphill battle
- The Muse | The Latest Stats on Women in Tech
- Fast Company | Silicon Valley is where women go to fail—unless they do these three things
- The Next Web | Exclusive: Research shows many women developers are stuck in junior-level roles
- Pitchbook | All In: Women in the VC Ecosystem 2019
- Forbes | By The Numbers: What Pay Inequality Looks Like For Women In Tech
- Forbes | Women In Tech: Inconvenient Truths And Changing Perspectives
- Leftronic | 17+ Women in Technology Statistics to Know in 2020
- Built In | Women in Tech Statistics For 2020(And How We Can Do Better)
- Statista | GAFAM: Women Still Underrepresented in Tech
- AAUW | Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing (Retrieved from The Internet Archive May 8, 2020)
- TechCrunch | The Future of Inclusion and Diversity in Tech
- Narrow The Gap | Wage Gap For Women in computer and Mathematical Occupations
- Forbes | The Motherhood Penalty: Why We’re Losing Our Best Talent To Caregiving
- TechCrunch | US VC investment in female founders hits all-time high
- GitHub | Gender Differences and Bias in Open Source: Pull Request Acceptance of Women Versus Men
- Gen-Z Will Make Up 24 Percent of the Global Workforce in 2020. Here’s What Employers Need to Know
- Why do girls lose interest in STEM? New research has some answers — and what we can do about it
- Distribution of Netflix employees as of the 3rd quarter of 2019, by gender
- Mind the 100 Year Gap