Women in Technology Statistics: What’s new?

by Darina Lynkova

Would you say that STEM is still a “boys only” sector in 2019?

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 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

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

Why are women in tech statistics so important in 2019?

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 a 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 statistics:

Key Facts

Let’s get right into it:

1. In 2018, 20% of all jobs in technology were held by women.

(Source: Small Business Trends)

The percentage of women in tech varies in different countries and continents.

For example, in Slovakia, women are only 9.29% of the total workforce in technology.

Now:

2. 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:

3. 18% of Computer Science bachelors at major universities in 2016 were women.

(Source: Ncwit)

Yes, only 18% of undergraduate computer science degrees are held by women.

Girls may be enthusiastic about a career in computer science. But obviously, not many of them follow that dream. There are many causes for that. Some say that the lack of inspiring female role models is one of the main reasons.

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

4. In 2017, just 26% of professional computing jobs were held by women.

(Source: Ncwit)

Again, this is global statistics.

For example, in Slovakia, that number stands at 9.29%.

5. 25% of all leadership positions in technology were held by women in 2015.

(Source: Statista)

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

6. In 2015, only 11% of all executive positions in Silicon Valley were held by women.

(Source: Business Insider)

In 2018, there were 24 women CEOs on the Fortune 500 list. That’s 4.8% of all senior leadership positions.

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

7. 85% of Facebook’s global tech-related jobs are occupied by men.

(Source: Business Insider)

In 2014 only 31% of all Facebook employees were women. In June 2018 that number was 36%.

That’s great, but what about women working in technology?

8. In 2014, one out of three employees in Apple, Facebook, and Google was female.

(Source: Business Insider)

Now, in 2014 the statistics for females in technology were so-so. In Google and Apple women in the tech jobs were less than 20%. In Facebook – only 15%.

But where there is a will, there is a way.

 

According to tech companies diversity statistics:

9. According to Apple’s annual diversity report of 2018, 39% of Apple leaders under 30 were women.

(Source: Apple)

The numbers for 2018 are far more promising for women, as you’ll see:

Businesses have definitely been hiring more women on tech jobs and leading positions lately.

That’s awesome!

But how about that:

10. In 2016, only $1.46 billion were invested in companies with female leads.

(Source: Observer)

Meanwhile, companies with male leadership earned $58.2 billion in investments.

Women-owned technology companies in New York City today get only 17% of venture fundings.

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 business and brought the company $22.1 billion in profit in 2018.

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.
  • 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 that we’ve seen the impact that women have had on STEM, let’s get back to some fascinating facts about women in the tech industry.

Women’s role in technology

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

11. In 2018, women held 24.61% of all US tech jobs.

(Source: Honeypot)

Compare that with the fact that:

12. In 2018, more than half of the US workforce was composed of women.

(Source: Small Business Trends)

Women are an important part of the workforce.

According to the gender gap in technology statistics:

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

(Source: Ncwit)

In the STEM sector, the quit rate for women is astonishing: 41%.

Compare that to men’s quit rate, which is at just 17%.

The female quit rate is even higher in the technology sector, compared to science and engineering. 56% of women quit their technology jobs in 2016.

In 2018, the number of women who leave their STEM jobs is 53%. In comparison, that number for men is 31%.  

According to diversity in tech statistics in 2018:

14. In 2018, women in the US receive $250 less than men when it comes to software development jobs.

(Source: Statista)

The gender pay gap for software developers in the US is still an issue in many fields. For example, in the financial sector, women earn $350 less than men.

Another interesting fact is that the younger the women, the smaller the pay gap. The female to male earnings ratio in the age group 16-24 in the US for 2018, was 88.51%.

But let’s go back to technology and women:

15. 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.

16. In 2017, 5% of startup founders are women.

(Source: Observer)  

And yet such women exist. We’ll share the names of some of them in a moment.

17. 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:

18. 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:

19. 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.

20. 57% of all professional jobs in the US for 2017 were held by women.

(Source: Ncwit)

A job in science or technology is still considered a non-traditional occupation for women.

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 leader 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 will be 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 Facts

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:

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.

Women in tech around the globe in 2018

We love sprinkling the statistics cake with some curious facts.

This 2018 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!

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:

  • In 2018, only 20% of all tech jobs were held by women.
  • In 2018, 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 why that’s true.

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

See you next time!

Reference:

  1. Small Business Trends
  2. TechCrunch
  3. Ncwit
  4. Ncwit
  5. Statista
  6. Business Insider
  7. Business Insider
  8. Business Insider
  9. Apple
  10. Observer
  11. Honeypot
  12. Small Business Trends
  13. Ncwit
  14. Statista
  15. Women Who Tech
  16. Observer
  17. The Next Web
  18. Computer Science
  19. Ncwit
  20. Ncwit

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