Women have historically been underrepresented in business. Even though the tech industry appears to be among the most progressive fields in the workplace, it still lacks adequate gender diversity.

Though women make up 50.04% of the US workforce, they represent a tiny proportion of the tech industry. This article will explore the most recent trends concerning women in the technology workplace. We will also consider Covid-19’s impact on workplace gender diversity and solutions to increase workplace gender representation.

Women in the Global Workforce

Women in the Global Workforce

As previously stated, women make up 50.04% of the US labor force today. According to the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 57.4 percent of women were employed in the United States in 2021, up 0.3% from the year before but down 2.6% from 1999. On the other side, the proportion of males working in the US in 2019 was 69.2%, 17.4% less than that of men working in the US in 1948.

Key Statistics:

  • Women make up 50.2% of US workers who have received a college education (Elsesser, 2019).
  • Canada has the most significant representation of women in the labor force (61.3%) (Team Stage, 2022).
  • 69.8% of the women interviewed in a survey preferred participating in the workforce rather than being a stay-at-home wife/mother (Statista, 2021).

Gender Equality and Representation in the Tech Industry

Gender Equality and Representation in the Tech Industry

Most tech employers are consistent with women making up 26% of their personnel. Unfortunately, this standard has decreased by 2.1% since 2021 for large and mid-size companies and 5.1% for smaller companies. Nevertheless, 83.6% of the technology industry is notable for hiring, training, and promoting diverse personnel. Although over 50% of employers in mid-size tech businesses lead the industry in hiring women, the industry overall is still predominantly male.

Key Statistics:

  • In the United States, the male-to-female employee ratio is 2:1 in the tech industry (Zippia, 2022).
  • Women represent 19% of employees in entry-level and mid-level positions (ISE, 2022).
  • The United States has 5.8 million employees, 74% male and 26% female (CompTIA, 2022)
  • Washington D.C. had the best gender representation in the tech industry (38.26% female) (Solum, 2022).
  • Over 70% of US tech businesses have adopted equal pay employment guidelines (Statista, 2021).
  • The only tech company in the world with a predominantly female workforce (51%) is the Biotech company called 23andMe (23andMe, 2020).
  • The technology sector positions with the most female employees are assemblers, computer network specialists, computer operators, database administrators, information systems managers, systems analysts, and web developers (CompTIA, 2022).

Representation by GAFAM

Representation by GAFAM

GAFAM is the stock acronym for the top five tech companies in the world: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Even in these major tech organizations, the overall representation of female employees is still relatively low, and it gets even lower in actual technology-related positions (Apple, Facebook, and Google: 23%; Microsoft: 20%) (Statista, 2021).

Key Statistics:

  • In leadership roles, Microsoft has the lowest percentage (26%), and Facebook has the highest (34%) percentage of female leaders (Statista, 2021).
  • Microsoft has the lowest female employee population (29%), and Amazon has the highest (45%) (Statista, 2021).
  • In 2020, Amazon reported having a 55.4% male and 44.6% female employment ratio. However, women held only 29.3% of available managerial positions (Amazon, 2020).

Women in Technology General Tech Statistics

Women in Technology General Tech Statistics

We had predicted a growing demand to implement better gender representation in the workplace. Because research has shown that diversity enhances the ability to offer various products and services, businesses must explore opportunities to increase gender and ethnic representation.

Key Statistics:  

  • Current data reveals 25% as the average percentage of women employed in technology positions (ISE, 2022).
  • In the U.S., there are over 585,000 tech companies, and as of 2019, only 24.02% of them are women (Zippia, 2022).
  • Six tech businesses were notable for achieving workplace diversity worth implementing (Statista, 2021).
  • Businesses with more gender representation in leadership positions (at least 30% women) are more likely to have more work productivity. They are 25% more capable of producing above-average profitability than poorly diversified companies (Dixon-Fyle, Dolan, Hunt, & Prince, 2020).
  • Work productivity in companies with higher gender diversity can increase as high as 48% more than in companies with little diversity (Dixon-Fyle, Dolan, Hunt, & Prince, 2020).
  • Companies with high gender diversity outperform low gender diversity by 73% when making business decisions (UNC Pembroke, 2021).
  • Unfortunately, only 41 women held CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies in 2021 (Quantic, 2021).

Percent of Women in Software Engineering Positions

 Percent of Women in Software Engineering Positions

Despite the increase in female software engineering employees, women are still underrepresented in the industry. For every four positions in the software engineering field, only one of them will be occupied by a woman.

Also, white men and women hold most software engineering positions (52.3%).

Key Statistics:

  • Software engineers typically make $122,400 a year (Salary.com, 2022).
  • The software engineering field mirrors other industries with predominantly male personnel (72.77%) (Zippia, 2022).
  • In 2022, out of 329,559 US software engineers, only 25% were women (Zippia, 2022).
  • For every dollar a male software engineer makes, female software engineers only make 0.92 cents (Zippia, 2022).
  • Out of five leadership positions held in software engineering, only one will be held by a woman (Zippia, 2022).
  • Asians/Asian Americans make up 33% of today’s software engineering labor force (Zippia, 2022).
  • Similarly, only 24% of women with engineering degrees still work in engineering, compared to 30% of men (NSF, 2019).

Women in Technology Education Statistics

Women in Technology Education Statistics

As mentioned earlier, even female students in technology education face the same dilemma of surviving in a male-dominated sector that potential female tech employees often face. Even with the recent increase in computer science positions, women are still the least likely to pursue degrees in the field. Thus, women only make up 32.8% of the workforce for computer science entry-level positions, and Asian women only make up 25% of the workforce in the computer science field. The following statistics reveal that there are a variety of reasons that impact women’s decision to pursue degrees in STEM subjects.

Key Statistics:

  • Very few females are recommended to try obtaining a technology-related degree (16%) (PricewaterhouseCoopers, n.d.).
  • Having only a few female tech industry role models makes it difficult for women to dismiss the idea that they still live in a male-dominated labor force. In one survey, only 22% of the female respondents were able to identify a famous woman in the tech industry (PricewaterhouseCoopers, n.d.).
  • Despite the highest school and elementary school-aged females (74%) expressing a desire to pursue a career in STEM, only 0.3% actualize pursuing a STEM/computer science degree (University of Washington, n.d.).
  • Only 6.3% of female computer science holders are minorities (Statista, 2021).

Global statistics on women’s interest in STEM subjects

Global statistics on women’s interest in STEM subjects

  • Only 64% of female students in the UK study STEM subjects before entering college, and only 30% study them in college (PricewaterhouseCoopers, n.d.).
  • More men than women (64% compared to only 27%) express a desire to pursue a tech career (PricewaterhouseCoopers, n.d.).
  • Only 28% of the US STEM labor force is women (AAUW, 2022).
  • Only 18% of the computer science degrees earned in the United States are earned by women and that number is expected to increase to 19% by 2026 (Computerscience.org, 2022).
  • Although only 20% of computer science professionals are women, there is a smaller gender pay gap in this field versus any other technology-related field (For every dollar a man makes, a woman makes $0.96.) (Narrow the Gap, 2021).

Women And Tech Workplace Trends

Women And Tech Workplace Trends

Despite most of the labor force in the United States being women, the tech industry is one field where very few female employees are hired. As stated earlier, working women often face the challenges of trying to survive in male-dominated work environments. For example, almost half of the female population working in the tech industry has reported experiencing gender discrimination while getting hired or during employment. Also, over 60% of US female workers in the tech industry felt the opportunities for advancement were very bleak.

However, there has been an increase in women getting hired in tech-related positions—from 29% to 30.9% in the past year. White males make up most of the new employees in the tech industry while white females comprise 10.9% of new hires. Statistics reveal that businesses promoting gender equity tend to hire more women.

General Statistics:

  • Only 3% of available computing jobs are held by African American women (Statista, 2020).
  • Women are 22% more likely to experience “imposter syndrome” in STEM/tech careers than men (Women in Tech, 2022).

Hiring Statistics:

  • Minorities (African American, bi- or multiracial, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous ethnic groups) make up only 6% of all new tech employees (EEOC, 2022).
  • Companies that adopt diversity training practices for hiring and daily business operations tend to hire more women than companies without established diversity training guidelines (rising from 28.8% to 34.5%) (CompTIA, 2022).
  • Women in tech positions are more likely to be laid off than men (KSAT, 2021).
  • Out of 100 men, only 52 female employees in the tech industry report getting a promotion at their current place of work (McKinsey, 2022).
  • Women make up 30.2% of the overall personnel in tech companies with fewer than 1,000 employees (AnitaB.org, 2020).
  • Tech companies that monitor their pay rates and have a more balanced gender representation tend to hire women 1.3 times more than companies without established pay audit policies and gender diversity (CompTIA, 2022).

Tech-jobs statistics:

  • As stated earlier, despite women making up 50.04% of the US workforce, only 20% are in computer science positions, and only 28% are in STEM positions. Most women work in retail or healthcare professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
  • Women hold less than 30% of IT and software positions (V-Soft Consulting, n.d.).
  • Research done by AnitaB.org reveals that women technology professionals make up only 28.8% of the employees in the tech industry (AnitaB.org, 2020).
  • Of the women hired in tech positions, 1.7% are Hispanic, 2.2% are black, 9.6% are Asian, and 14.1% are white (AnitaB.org, 2020).
  • Of the women in computing positions, 2.2% are Hispanic, 3.1% are black, 6.6% are Asian, and 15.3% are white (Statista, 2020).

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace

  • 40% of women report that tech companies do not address workplace diversity issues, and 60% believe these issues have become a sincere concern (Agarwal, 2020; Miteva, 2019).
  • 49% of UK women in STEM positions report having experienced workplace discrimination during recruitment, hiring, or while on-the-job (Agarwal, 2020).
  • Overall, 50% of women in tech-related positions report having experienced some workplace harassment or discrimination (Builtin, 2021).
  • 39% of women pursuing tech positions believe gender bias is a severe obstacle to employment (Jefferson Frank, 2022).

Compensation statistics:

  • Women (52%) are more concerned about compensation than men (33%) (IDC, 2019).
  • Most men in tech positions (75%) assume their employers provide equal pay rates, but not as many women do (42%) (IDC, 2019).
  • Female tech employees make 17.5% less in pay than men. For example, if a man earns $122,234, a woman in the same position with the same qualifications will earn $100,895 (Gruman, 2020).
  • For the same tech role, women were offered salaries 2.5% less than men (Codecademy, 2022).

Statistics on Women as Tech Entrepreneurs

Statistics on Women as Tech Entrepreneurs

Although 40% of U.S. businesses are owned by women (of which 64% of those are owned by Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans), only 2% of these female entrepreneurs receive equitable start-up funding, and investment options. Thus, for every four tech startups, only one will be founded by a woman (Silicon Valley Bank, 2020). Also, for every tech startup, only 37% have a minimum of one female board member, but 53% will have at least one female senior executive (Silicon Valley Bank, 2020).

Key Statistics:

  • There are now over 2 million businesses owned by Hispanic women which is an increase of 87% since 2007 (Latin Business Today, 2022).
  • Most women business owners (87%) report having difficulty finding adequate business funding—averaging $5,000 less in loans than most male entrepreneurs (Silicon Valley Bank, 2020).
  • Only 8% of all venture capital positions are women (CSIS, 2022).
  • Female entrepreneurs usually take a salary of $35,000 lower than their male counterparts (WBL, 2022).

Women in Technology Leadership and Business Statistics

Women in Technology Leadership and Business Statistics

Despite the advances, women have achieved in leadership and entrepreneurial roles. Many do not experience sufficient opportunities for funding or advancement. Thus, the further a woman advances in the tech industry, the fewer options she will have. In larger businesses, women hold 5% of the available CEO positions.

Key Statistics:

  • Only 15% of tech business CEOs or senior executives are women (Zippia, 2022).
  • Compared to white male CEOs, black female CEOs earn 36% less (Leanin.org, 2022).
  • Only 6 black women hold Fortune 500 CEO positions, which is an increase from 2 in 2021 (Fortune, 2022).
  • Out of the 3,000 largest U.S. companies, only 6.2% of them have female CEOs (WB Collaborative, 2022).
  • For every dollar made by male CEOs in tech business startups, female CEOs made $0.89 (Inc.com, 2022).
  • As of 2019, 25.5% of senior vice presidents were women which was an increase from 23.2% in 2018 (Zippia, 2022).
  • In 2021, female tech CEOs saw a 27% reduction in their salaries whereas male tech CEOs saw a 1% increase (Statista, 2021).
  • For tech workers over 35 years of age, 20.4% of women stay in junior-level positions whereas only 5.9% of men stay in these positions (HackerRank, 2019).
  • Female executives report more instances of work burnout. In the tech industry, that figure is as high as 57% (SherWeb, 2022).

Statistics on Why Women Quit Tech

Statistics on Why Women Quit Tech

Research on employee recruitment reveals that employee retention in the tech industry remains challenging for female employees. About 11.3% of female STEM employees quit the tech industry last year. Unfairness or mistreatment within the work environment was the most frequently cited reason for leaving, according to Tech Leavers 2017 Report. These statistics reveal that tech companies need to work harder at achieving gender inclusivity, promotion opportunities, and more workplace safety guidelines to recruit and retain female tech professionals.

Key Statistics: 

  • Women are 45% more likely to quit their tech jobs than men (Computer Weekly, 2022).
  • Half of the women working in tech jobs quit by the time they reach 35 years of age (Jefferson Frank, 2022).
  • Only 21% of women reported optimism about advancement opportunities (8%) (Accenture, 2020).
  • Women cite poor advancement options (20%), burnout (22%), and poor support from management (23%) as the main reasons why they quit their tech positions (Capital One, 2019).
  • Moreover, 20% of women in STEM positions quit their jobs due to facing workplace harassment or discrimination (Agarwal, 2020).

The Impact of COVID-19 & Remote Work on Female Tech Employees

The Impact of COVID-19 & Remote Work on Female Tech Employees

COVID-19 has greatly influenced how businesses recruit and maintain employees. During the shelter-at-home orders, 75% of 1.2 million working mothers quit their jobs because of the challenges of balancing work, childcare, and other domestic duties. However, women employed in tech-related jobs benefited from remote work options because it allowed them to create a better work/life balance. Even men report being more inclined to seek positions allowing remote work options since COVID-19.

Key Statistics:

  • Before COVID-19, women employees were already experiencing burnout more than men (68% versus 58%) (Schiavo, 2020).
  • Burnout increased among women (69%) once the government enforced shelter-at-home regulations (Schiavo, 2020).
  • Over one million working parents—75% of women—quit the workforce in 2020 (CompTIA, 2022).
  • One study revealed that 54% of women employed in tech positions found it difficult to keep their tech jobs possibly because most of them did most of the housework and had to homeschool their children (Kaspersky, 2021).
  • In August and September of 2020, only 216,000 men quit their jobs while 865,000 women quit their jobs (CNBC, 2020).
  • COVID-19 caused many women (47%) to feel like their careers were stalled, but some feel working remotely has allowed them to be more productive (Kaspersky, 2021).
  • Since March 2020, most women employed in tech positions (95%) have been working part-time remotely (Kaspersky, 2021).
  • Some companies (16.7%) have adopted permanent remote work operations since COVID-19 (Statista, 2022).
  • 34% of women surveyed believe remote work is a better alternative to working onsite—especially since it awards them more work freedom (Kaspersky, 2021).
  • Some women (46%) believe remote tech work has increased workplace gender representation (Kaspersky, 2021).

A Final Look at Gender Inequity in the Tech Industry

A Final Look at Gender Inequity in the Tech Industry

These statistics show that the gender gap in the tech industry is a critical concern. Although women are starting to dominate the labor force, the tech industry is still male-dominated. So, the question remains: what can tech companies do to achieve more gender diversity in the workplace?

For starters, there need to be fewer discriminatory recruitment practices before women enter college. Girls Who Code is a perfect example of a non-profit organization that utilizes gender equity recruitment practices. To inspire more women to embrace tech jobs, technology education programs need to make a better effort to expose female students to information on notable women in the tech industry to let them know that the tech industry can be a promising career for women as well.

Once the tech industry has addressed less discriminatory recruitment practices, there needs to be an increased effort to promote gender diversity in everyday business operations. Thus, if companies would invest more in implementing equal opportunity employment practices, equal pay rates, and skill-based promotions, we may see improved employee retention among females in the tech industry. After all, no one wants to be in a career field without hope for advancement or fair compensation.

The pandemic has had a disproportionately negative effect on women in the workforce. With over 75% of 1.2 million parents leaving their jobs in response to the pandemic, it is clear that working mothers have been forced to make an untenable choice between their careers and caring for their families.

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