The Tech Gender Gap in 2013: Is it Changing?

Posted: January 29th, 2013

We know that women love using technology, but do they love creating the technology that they use? On average women tweet, like, share, and pin far more frequently than men and are quicker to adopt new digital products and services. Across all ages groups, women interact online more than men, yet only 5 to 20 percent of software developers in the US are women.

Tech Gender GapThe ratio seems to remain the same, or even dwindle, as you look at other careers in tech. In 2010 only approximately 7 percent of investments backed by the successful incubator, Y Combinator, were led by women. Yet, statistics show that a more gender diverse company returns higher gains, up to 30%, from IPO.  Startups led by females generate higher revenues per investment dollar than startups led by males.

Where is the disconnect? Is this trend changing?

In recent years, we've seen an emphasis on closing the gender gap in tech.  In the early 2000s, the focus was closing the gender gap to create a better office culture, but now technology companies are realizing that having women in leadership roles actually benefits revenue.  Shocking right?  Who would've guessed that having women leaders in businesses whose largest population of engaged consumers is women would actually be financially beneficial.

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Numerous groups have emerged to help provide resources and ammunition to the movement. Hackbright Academy is a 10 week programming fellowship in Silicon Valley exclusively for women.  Rails Girls is an international movement promoting innovation with female entrepreneurs and developers through Ruby on Rails.  Astia is an organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to propel women’s success as entrepreneurs and leaders.

Is the emphasis working? I think yes.  We see a growing movement for women to contribute in the tech space. Female targeted groups are bringing access to technology and putting resources in front of female entrepreneurs and developers. Female leaders, like Marissa Mayer, are increasing visibility for women in tech. Female led startups like Popvox, Code for America, and CakeHealth are paving the way for women to create their own space in the tech industry while providing solutions that help everyone. But the fight is not over and we need to keep talking about women in tech.

Are you a female in tech? Do you think the gender gap is closing? What resources have you used to help launch your tech career? Let us know in the comments below.

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By: Emily Williamson