Women in Technology Statistics: What’s New in 2021?

Would you say that STEM is still a “boys only” sector in 2021?

Is it true there is still a gender gap in technology?

Yes, for now. Things are changing rapidly, guys!

We must acknowledge women’s contributions to STEM, which, let me tell you, are quite amazing!

Let’s examine the latest women in technology statistics and see for ourselves.

Now, just imagine:

Cinderella, Jasmine and Hermione Granger sat in front of their computers, smoking cigarettes in their sweatpants… writing computer code.”

#techgirl

Yes, folks! The Stereotype Monster has been dying a slow death for years now.

Nowadays, great women like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Melinda Gates, are an inspiration to their gender.

And hopefully, thanks to female mentors, more and more girls will dare to pursue careers in STEM in the near future.

In the world of today, computer science is still mostly under the male domain. Current trends suggest that’s about to change.

As always, let’s start with some statistics and see where they lead us.

Inspiring Women in Technology Statistics

  • In 2020, only 25% of GAFAM’s employees are female.
  • 57% of all professional occupations in the US for 2017 were held by women.
  • In 1985, 37% of all US bachelors in Computer Sciences were women.
  • Only 37% of tech startups have at least one woman on the board of directors.
  • 63% of men in tech firms view their companies as equal employers regarding gender.
  • The ratio of men to women in engineering is 5:1.
  • 25.5% of Google’s leaders on a global scale are women.

Yes, those numbers are impressive. But why do they matter:

Women in Technology Statistics for 2021

You might think that there would be gender equality in technology by 2020.

But no.

The number of females studying or joining this field is still wanting. Isn’t that surprising bearing in mind that the first coder in the early 20th century was a woman

Let’s discuss some more women in technology statistics.

1. In 2020, about 25% of GAFAM’s employees are female.

(Source: Statista)

GAFAM is an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Here’s the breakdown of females in the United States top five technology companies:

  • Google – 23%
  • Apple – 23%
  • Facebook – 23%
  • Amazon – n/a
  • Microsoft – 20%

2. 71% of women have worked in a tech company with a strong “bro culture.”

(Source: TrustRadius)

According to women in technology stats for 2020only 29% of women of survey participants haven’t worked in companies where there was a boy’s club. The majority of ladies that have worked in male-dominated environments have felt excluded, unsafe, and uncomfortable. 

3. 63% of men in technology companies view their companies as equal employers regarding gender.

(Source: TechRadius)

The majority of men in the field consider their workplaces diverse when it comes to gender. Only 47%of women agree to these sentiments, according to women in technology statistics for 2020. 36% of females in tech say they haven’t seen any efforts by their companies to close the gender gap. 

4. The ratio of men to women in engineering is 5:1.

(Source: TechRadius)

According to women in tech statistics for 2020, men outnumber women in the Engineering industry. A whopping 80% of those in the field are male, while only 20% are female

What about industry meetings?

The ratio of women that report seeing no other females in meetings is 11:100. Only 40% say that other women accompany them to these meetings. 

5. Only 37% of tech startups have at least one woman on the board of directors.

(Source: sbv)

Progress is also slow regarding the number of women on board of directors and c-suite executive positions in tech startups. The percentage of men in both roles is 63% and 59% respectively. Probably that’s why 90% of new startups fail

Just kidding.

However, things are looking up in the healthcare sector. Over 1/2 of both titles in this category go to women.

6. Conversations centered around gender inequality must include men.

(Source: Data|Economy)

Caroline Puygrenier, Interxion’s director of strategy in business development and connectivity, urges women to invite men in conversations regarding the need to elevate women in tech. 

Women in the field need to involve men in such discussions. Otherwise, long-term goals to solve the issue might be futile. 

7. 58% of women are concerned about the venture capital funding gap.

(Source: TrustRadius)

Over half of females feel that there’s very little VC funding in female-owned startups. Less than 2% of those companies get funding.  

Why is there such a big gap?

Almost 20% of women say that discrimination here could be due to sexism. 

Now.

Why are women in tech statistics so important in 2021?

Women’s relationship with technology has been palpable since the beginning of computing and problem-solving. (Maybe even before that!)

The only thing is… STEM is not the first career choice among the ladies.

Now:

Throughout history, we have seen plenty of examples of great women in tech. They’ve left a legacy for future generations to follow. Let’s also remind ourselves that Gen Z women will start to flood the IT sector soon enough.

Now:

The first step in predicting the future of gender representation in tech is to look at the latest data:

Key Women in Technology Statistics

Let’s get right into it:

8. Only about 25% of jobs in technology are held by women in 2021.

(Source: Built In)

Unfortunately, women in tech statistics show that women in this industry are still grossly unrepresented.

Women only hold about 14% of software engineering and 25% of computer-science-related jobs.

Moreover, studies show that the number of female software engineers has gone up by only 2% in the last 21 years.

9. 74% of girls express a desire for a career in STEM fields.

(Source: TechCrunch)

The numbers for female undergraduates in Computer Science confirm that most of them chose differently.

However:

10. Women earn 18% of computer science bachelors in the US.

(Source: Ncwit, ComputerScience.org)

Recent women in stem statistics show that women hold only about 18% of undergraduate computer science degrees. Because computer science research jobs are expected to grow by 19% come 2026, it’s pretty concerning.

While girls may be enthusiastic about a career in computer science, not many of them follow that dream. There are many reasons for that, one of them being the lack of inspiring female role models.

If that sounds a little weird to you, then how about this:

11. Women only held 25% of professional computing jobs by women in 2020.

(Source: Ncwit, FairyGodBoss)

Again, this is a global statistic.

For comparison, this figure was 26% in 2017.

12. Recent research shows that women hold less than 20% of all leadership positions in technology.

(Source: Finances Online)

To be exact, 19% of women hold tech senior vice president roles, while 15% hold CEO positions.

It is difficult to climb the ladder of success. Still, even fewer women succeed.

13. In 2020, there were only a few women in executive positions at Silicon Valley startups.

(Source: Finances Online)

Women in tech stats 2020 showed that about 37% of tech startups had at least one woman on the board of directors, while 53% had at least one female executive position.

Yup! There are not many women in STEM careers yet.

14. Men occupy 75.9% of Facebook’s global tech-related jobs.

(Source: Statista)

In 2020, only 24.1% of Facebook’s tech-related employees were women.

More than that, only 31% of all Facebook employees were women in 2014. In June 2018, that number was 36.3%. As of July 2020, that figure was 37%, having gone up less than 1%.

The rate at which women are being hired in the tech industry is still disappointingly slow.

15. In 2020, Apple, Facebook, and Google recorded better percentages of female employees.

(Source: IAM Media)

Diversity in tech statistics 2020 reported that 33% of Apple’s employees and 23% of its technical team were women.

Google said that 32% of its employees were women, and Facebook recorded 37%.

16. According to Apple’s annual diversity report of 2020, 40% of Apple leaders under 30 were women.

(Source: Apple)

This is a commendable increase from 31% in 2014.

In addition to that, 37% of their open leadership roles were occupied by women globally, and women filled 26% of open R&D leadership roles.

17. Out of the $150 billion invested by venture capitalists, women-founded companies receive less than $3.4 billion.

(Fortune)

That amounts to less than 2.5% of investment capital.

Diversity in Tech Statistics

According to the 2018 male to female ratio in technology statistics:

18. Around 72% of the female tech workforce feel constantly outnumbered in business meetings.

(Source: Trust Radius)

We already know that men make up the majority of the tech industry. But did you know by how much? Studies show that when it comes to business meetings, 72% of women are outnumbered by men by a 2:1 ratio. 

In addition to this, 26% of respondents also reported being outnumbered by at least a 5:1 ratio.

19. In February 2021, more than half of US women over 20 were part of the workforce.

(Source: Gallup)

57%, to be exact. On the other hand, 69.6% of US men over 20 work.

20. The quit rate of women in technology is almost twice as high as that of men.

(Source: Finances Online)

In the tech sector, about 50% of women quit their jobs before the age of 35.

They are also abandoning their jobs at a 45% higher rate than the men in their industry.

Women in STEM statistics have shown that some of the most common reasons women quit their jobs include weak management support and work-life balance.

21. In 2020, US women in tech made 2.5% less money than men.

(Source: Dice)

Although this is an improvement from the 4.4% pay gap in 2019, women are still making significantly less money than men in the US.

For example, research shows that in cities like New York, women in tech make up to $8,914 less than men in tech.

22. Fortune 500 companies with at least 3 women in leading positions saw a 66% increase in ROI.

(Source: Women Who Tech)

Well, that’s a wake-up call. By hiring fewer women leaders in a tech company you are actually helping your competition.

23. In 2020, nearly half of the businesses in the US were women-owned.

(Source: Finances Online)

Around 40% of businesses in the US were owned by women in 2020. However, only about 2.3% of the global venture capital funding was directed to women-led startups in the same year.

24. Women are 3.5 times more likely to be 35+ and still in a junior tech position.

(Source: The Next Web)

According to researchers, men are far less likely to stay juniors for long.

Employment level distribution is a curious phenomenon nowadays.

Let’s see:

  • 30% of women over the age of 35 are still in junior positions.
  • Less than 5% of men who are 35 or older are still in junior positions.
  • Less than 50% of women between 25 – 34 are Senior Developers.
  • More than 85% of men between 25 – 34 are Senior Developers.

Did you know:

For every 100 men, promoted to a manager position, only 79 women received a similar promotion in 2018.

Also:

25. In 1985, 37% of all computer science bachelors were women.

(Source: Computer Science)

Before the release of home computers, substantially more women were up for a career in computer science. Unfortunately, in the years after the personal computer became a widespread phenomenon, the numbers decreased. In 2010-2011 only 17.6% of computer science bachelors were women.

According to women in computer science statistics:

26. 17% of all Fortune 500 CIO positions are held by women.

(Source: Ncwit)

The STEM sector is still male-dominated. And yet there are some women who are proud to have made a difference.

27. Women in tech experienced more burn-out than men in tech in 2021.

(Source: Trust Radius)

A 2021 study found that around 57% of women in tech are burned out at work this year. 

When compared to the 36% of men who also reported feeling burnt out, it becomes even more evident that there is a lack of balance in the industry.

28. Smaller tech companies are more likely to employ women.

(Source: Finances Online)

According to women in technology statistics, tech companies with less than 1,000 employees hire about 30.02% of women in tech.

29. White women are the most represented women in tech.

(Source: Finances Online)

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive breakdown, amongst the total tech workforce in 2020, 14.1% were white women, 9.6% were Asian women, 2.2% were black women, and 1.7% were Latin women.

A Brief History of Women in Technology

We can’t talk numbers without mentioning a little historical background.

Let’s see some of them now:

(Spoiler alert: the list of top women in technology may surprise you!)

Here we go:

Ada Lovelace

Born in 1815, the English mathematician worked on the math of the general-purpose computer. (By the way, she was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Yes, the famous one!) The Countess of Lovelace is considered to have written algorithms for the first computer in the mid-19th century. Consequently, she is the author of the first computer program.  

All right, who’s next?

Grace Hopper

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was one of the first programmers in history. Born in 1906, Hopper has contributed greatly to computer programming and software development. As a programming pioneer, she developed the first compiler in 1952, which translated mathematical code into a machine-readable code.

Yup!

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, a US mathematician who retired from NASA in 1986. She did calculations in orbital mechanics leading to the success of the first US spaceflights…  

Annie Easley

She did computations for researchers at NASA, where she was one of the 4 African-American employees. Annie Easley became the person we have to thank for the initial code that led to the invention of the battery technology, used for early hybrid vehicles.

And now:

Fast forward into the 21st century…

Here comes a big one, guys:

Susan Wojcicki

YouTube’s CEO since 2014. Susan Wojcicki was among the first 20 employees in Google – she was their marketing manager!

AND she was the person who advocated for the famous acquisition of YouTube by Google some 13 years ago. (YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion.)

Talking about women in positions of power:

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is the present-day COO of Facebook. And she has been on the job for 11 years now.

Sheryl Sandberg helped establish Facebook as a platform for small businesses and helped make the company become a $138 billion tech giant.

Before we go on with some other “women in tech” stats, let’s have a look at some honorable mentions:

  • Amy Hood – Executive Vice President and CFO at Microsoft Corporation since May 2013.
  • Belinda Johnson – COO at Airbnb since 2018. Soon to join the board of directors at the company. 
  • Ginni Rometty – CEO of IBM since 2012.
  • Melinda Gates – former general manager of Microsoft. She is a philanthropist and a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (By the way, check out the blog of Bill and Melinda Gates – it’s surprisingly informative!)

Now, let’s see what we can expect from women in the field in the future:

What’s in Store for the Future?

Women are gradually finding their way inside STEM companies. More and more opportunities are becoming available for female undergraduates.

Given the rising need for software engineers and web developers, it is hardly surprising that the world is making more space for women in STEM.

Let’s see some of the latest trends in women’s relationship with technology:  

WiSTEM

WiSTEM is short for women in science, technology, engineering, and math. It is an initiative of universities and colleges, such as Harvard, Manchester Community College, Harvey Mudd College, Loyola University Chicago, and many more.

The program’s objectives are to familiarize women with the challenges and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs. It offers mentorship by some of the top male and female business leaders and connects students of STEM to leading venture companies.

Gen Z women

Gen Z women are 21 years old or younger. Those interested in a STEM career usually start coding before the age of 16.

Until now we were concerned about millennials at work.

2019 was the first year when the first Gen Z women will enter the workforce.

More than 60% of Gen Z women started coding between the age of 16 – 21.

25% of all were already coding before they were 15. This is a direct result of the rising number of opportunities for education.

Today coding is a part of some schools’ curricula, and there are all sorts of coding schools and summer coding programs. Some programs even work with children as young as 5.

Gen Z are digital natives. This next generation of coders will change the world!

What holds women back?

Some of the factors that stop women from pursuing careers in STEM are actually social and financial.

Those include:

  • Lack of mentors.
  • Lack of female role models in the same field.
  • Gender bias and derogatory behavior in the workplace.
  • Unequal growth opportunities with male coworkers.
  • The lesser wage for the same position.

Those factors are also responsible for the high quit rates among women in STEM jobs – 53% in 2018.  Companies nowadays are struggling with gender issues all over the globe.

Exciting Women in Technology Facts

1. ENIAC Six

During WWII there was a shortage of male engineers. No wonder there. That led to hiring a group of female programmers. Their initial responsibility was to solve complicated equations needed for aiming and targeting ballistic weapons.

After a while, a team of six women was the one to operate the first computer – the ENIAC (Electrical and Numerical Integrator and Computer).

It was the quirky predecessor of the general purpose computer. The ENIAC had no storage and was controlled by a web of electrical cables.

After a while, the six ladies started operating the ENIAC by themselves. They were addressing all the bugs and were the only ones in charge of its diagnostics.

Several pictures were made of them operating the computer…

The fun thing is there were people who thought the women in the pictures were models – who were posing to make the machine look more attractive.     

When mathematicians get mistaken for models… oh well.

(Imagine Hermione Granger’s face when they ask her if she was a model… )

Moving on to:

2. Kansas City

Yes! This is the US city with the smallest gender pay gap!

In fact, in Kansas City, Missouri, women earn 102% of what men earn for the same tech job.

They may have overdone that equality thing.

3. Women in tech around the globe

We love sprinkling the statistics cake with some curious facts.

This data comes from 41 different countries.

As you will see, some of the facts are quite surprising:

  • Bulgaria is the country with most women in tech – 30.28%.
  • The overall gender pay gap is highest in South Korea – 37.18%.
  • The tech pay gap is highest in South Korea – 41.17%.
  • 50.25% of the workforce in Latvia is composed of women.
  • Sweden boasts the highest percentage of women in parliament – 43.5%.
  • Hungary and Slovakia have 0% of women in ministerial positions.

The results of this research are astounding. And this is just the preview!

The same survey found that advances in gender equality can result in a $12 trillion boost to the global GDP by 2025.

Yup!

4. The world’s richest women in technology

Alright, so we gave credit to those women who have achieved success in STEM-related fields. Now let’s take a look at those who managed to accumulate the most wealth.

Some of them are self-made CEOs and founders of their own companies, others – shareholders in great corporations.

Here they are:

  • Laurene Powell Jobs – once the spouse of the legendary Steve Jobs, she owns stakes in both Apple and Disney, and is the founder of Emerson Collective Foundation.
  • Dagmar Dolby – she is the largest shareholder of Dolby Laboratories… You guessed right – Dolby as in the sound system!
  • Judy Faulkner – she is the founder of a US software company that develops ways to store medical records electronically. It is called Epic Systems.
  • Zhou Qunfei – she is the founder and current CEO of a Chinese tech company, called Lens Technology.

Now we know, guys. Let’s wrap this up!

Recap

Women have proved their value to the world of STEM.

On a global scale, we are heading towards 40% of women in tech positions in the next 5 -10 years.

And with good reason – as we saw, they provide a much-needed impulse to humanity’s technological progress.

Let’s hope that in the future years, there will be more and more women in IT and science.

Here are the key facts concerning women in tech statistics in a nutshell:

  • Only 20% of all tech jobs were held by women.
  • The quit rate for women in STEM was 53%.
  • 26% of all computing jobs in the world are held by women.
  • 5% of startup founders are women.
  • In 2016, only $1.46 billion were invested in companies led by women.

There you go.

Bottom line:

Don’t hire women in your company because you have to, or because you feel pressured by society.

Nope!

Hire women because it’s worth it!

Today’s women in technology statistics provided us with plenty of evidence of why that’s true.

It’s been great talking to you, ladies and gentlemen!

See you next time!

 

FAQ

How many female software engineers are there?

Women in STEM statistics show that only 25% work in this field

However, there’s some good news:

Half of those graduating in this area in the last five years have been female. 

What percentage of workers are female?

The percentage of women in the labor force was at 50.4% in the last quarter of 2019. The figure is an improvement compared to 2018’s Q4 data of 47.9%.

What is the most common job for a woman?

The most common jobs for women lie in two sectors; retail and healthcare. According to Amanda Winstein, economically empowered women fuel demand in these industries hence more job creation.

What are the highest paying jobs for females?

The highest paying job for women is the Chief Executive officer, according to women in technology statistics.

This position pays a weekly median salary of $1836. On the second place is pharmacist paying $1811 weekly on average. Coming in third is lawyer, with a remuneration of $1717. 

ABOUT AUTHOR

I am a proud Ravenclaw and a fan of Stephen King (seriously, one of my dreams is to write something that the King will read. Plan B is to get invited to his house and have a coffee with him and his wife. Never mind!) I enjoy being a part of an awesome team of tech writers and we are having a ball writing our techie articles. Currently, I am finishing my second master’s degree, at Vrije University, Brussels (Linguistics and Literature!) What else? Oh yeah, and I am a fan of progressive metal... and progressive technologies like AI and deep learning.

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