It’s not a secret that the technology sector has massive gender gaps between men and women, even though women make up the vast majority of the working force, the gap is nowhere near closing. It doesn’t appear to be an education issue either, as women hold more Bachelors and Graduate degrees than men. Many companies argue that the gender gap is a simple pipeline issue, that is to say that there aren’t enough women and minorities studying for STEM (science, tech, engineering, and mathematics.) But the numbers reveal that there is certainly another reason for such a lack of diversity within the STEM sector. The same can be said for minorities in tech, even though diversification leads to a higher cumulative intelligence score and more company earnings overall, the tech game is still a white male dominated arena. You can look at the stats below to decide for yourself where the problem lies.
If this number surprises you, it should! Since women have such a low hold rate in technology (more on that below) and we have such few women leaders (never mind the incredible rarities of women leaders in tech) the fact that the majority of professionally held jobs are taken by women is quite surprising.
Women hold 11% of executive roles at Fortune 500 companies, and 4.6% hold the title of CEO. And a similarly small number of women own tech start-up, averaging a whopping 5%. But the strangest thing is that women are starting businesses at 1.5x the national average, meaning that more women are starting more businesses, and faster than men.
According to Fortune’s study on large tech companies, on average, women hold only 1/3 of the tech jobs in large tech companies like Intel, Microsoft, HP, and LinkedIn. Within the same companies, minorities hold even a smaller share of the jobs; Native Americans being the smallest percentage with an average of 0.2% (<1%.) Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were tied around 0.3% (<1%.) Blacks held the third lowest percentage of jobs, averaging 5% and Hispanics held about 7% of the jobs at these large tech companies. LinkedIn had the largest percentage of Asian workers, averaging 40% of their employees, and out of the largest companies polled, HP had the lowest rate of diversity across the board- Asians alone held only 14.4% of the jobs.
Within leadership, the stats become even more dismal, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians hold 0.1% of leadership roles each (<1%.) On average for the largest tech companies that were included in the survey, 76.42% of leadership roles were held by Caucasians, leaving the remaining 23.58% of roles to other ethnicities.
When smaller tech companies are included women only hold 25% of the tech jobs available on average. Although there were no formal statistics that I could find on the topic of minorities within smaller tech companies, one would be inclined to believe that the ratio of minorities to Caucasians would also be lower.
In the next few weeks I’m going to write an entire article covering the benefits companies have seen when they make a real effort to diversify their talent pool, but for now, I’ll keep it short. Companies have seen a boost in equity, retention, acquisition, and cumulative intelligence- all from simply hiring a more diverse pool of workers. Even though this seems surprising on face value, under the surface it’s not so surprising. Different genders, races, and cultures all come from different paths, which give them different perspectives and fresh takes on how to improve a business or a product. When you add additional diversity, you open up the door to innovation, which leads to a better work/life satisfaction for employees, which leads to better retention- and all of it adds up to more money in the end, which leads to happier stockholders and more equity. It’s essentially business 101.
Even though diversification has proven benefits, there is still a major gap- not only for women, but also for minorities! According to WomenWhoTech, 40% of females say that companies don’t spend enough time ensuring diversity has been addressed, versus 82% if men who says that companies have spent enough time addressing diversity. Since the vast majority of the hiring within the tech sector is done by men, one could argue that this stat has some valuable insight into not only the gender gap, but also the gap between Caucasians and minorities. However, most companies argue that it’s either something to do with the pipeline, or something to do with the way women are being raised to keep with status quo
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