Tech Is No Longer Just A Man’s World
From Mark Zuckerberg down to the average coder, there's no doubt that the technology industry is dominated by men. In fact more than half of the women that do enter the industry end up quitting and moving on. This along with 32 other facts is explored by Coupofy in their infographic about the female tech landscape.
But what is it that causes women to leave tech, or perhaps overlook it as a career entirely?
When asked in a survey the largest percentage (30%) said it was the working conditions that caused them to leave. This contained three grievances - lower pay than expected, too many hours, and the feeling that they were unable to get a promotion. Slightly lower at 27 percent was a yearning to spend more time with the family. 22 percent were unfulfilled by the work itself and wanted to do something else. And 17 percent did not like the workplace culture.
Not all of these issues are going to be specific to women, but they need to be tackled if more women are to choose tech as a career. As it stands just 20 percent of tech startups are founded by women, 7 percent of the 100 richest tech billionaires are women, and only 4.2 percent of investment in tech comes from female venture capitalists.
It's interesting then that the likes of Belle Capital and Forerunner Ventures have chosen to only fund startups founded by women, in the hope of growing that 20 percent.
Another effort to increase the amount of women in tech comes from some of the largest companies in the industry. Microsoft, Google, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! and LinkedIn - have all changed their hiring practices, with positions opening for women at a rate 238 faster than men!
These aren't just any old jobs either. When one takes a closer look at some of these companies, YouTube and Yahoo have female CEOs, in Susan Wojcicki and Marissa Mayer, and Facebook's COO is also a woman - Sheryl Sandberg.
In terms of tech jobs in the wider corporate world, 87 of the Fortune 500 Chief Information Officer positions are now held by women, including big names like Ford, General Electric and Exxon Mobil.
There are also those women that have made it to the top of the industry despite the perceived inequality. Sandra Kurtzig was the first woman to take a Silicon Valley company public, with her Ask Computer Systems company. Angela Ahrendts is the highest paid female executive in the US, in her role as Senior Vice President of Apple Retail. Jenny Lee of GGV Capital was the top venture capitalist of 2015 and is the first woman to reach the top of the Forbes rankings.
In terms of net worth, way out in front is a founder of Lens Technology, Zhou Qunfei, with $7.5 billion. Some of her biggest contracts include Samsung and Apple. Other pioneering women in tech include the founder of the bet365 gambling site Denise Coates ($2.9 billion), Judy Faulkner (founder of Epic Systems) at $2.6 billion, and hp CEO Meg Whitman ($2.2 billion).
So even though there appear to be roadblocks that are turning women away from the technology industry or making them quit before they retire, there is still the opportunity to have massive success. With growing support for female startups and large corporations now hiring women at record rates, the whole landscape could look very different in the near future.
For more interesting data about women in tech, be sure to check out the fact-filled infographic from Coupofy!
Zuzana Padychova on LinkedIn