Women make up 47 percent of all employed adults in the U.S., but as of 2015, they hold only 25 percent of computing roles, according to data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Of the 25 percent of women working in tech, Asian women make up just 5 percent of that number, while Black and Hispanic women accounted for 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
From childhood through education to careers and leadership, female representation often gets lost, with many women choosing not to pursue technology fields due to lack of support, access, and even cultural or regional norms. Culturally-prescribed notions of “male” and “female” careers subtly affect the way a teacher, mentor, or employer looks at women in technical fields. They can lead girls to second-guess their abilities or interest in technology.
Cultivating a diverse tech workforce starts with education. Companies, schools, and higher education institutions can work together to support the development of bright female minds. There are many ways to ensure that women have the support and opportunities to explore STEM fields in both their educations and careers.
In the workplace, tech companies set goals to elevate female leaders, develop programs internally, and support programs externally that support diversity in tech and work with partners who also share these similar values.