‘Staggering Gaps’ Between Men and Women

From James Damore’s infamous memo about why women don’t succeed in the technology industry to former Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s blog post about the harassment and discrimination she and other women faced at the ride-hailing company, examples abound of what a hostile place the tech industry can be for women and why so many choose to leave or stay away.

Now there’s data to supplement those examples — specifically, a new report from Entelo, which finds what the recruitment vendor says are “staggering gaps” between the numbers and roles of women in the technology industry compared to men. The most striking finding is that only 10 percent of tech executives are female. Furthermore, the report finds, there’s a 50-percent drop in representation from women when comparing entry-level to executive roles within the tech industry.

“Despite all the discussions, calls to action and programs being put forth to increase the number of women in tech, the numbers plainly indicate that we are not there yet,” says Yasmin Zarabi, Entelo’s vice president of corporate partnerships and development.

The report, based on Entelo’s analysis of approximately half a billion candidate profiles, also finds that:

  • Only 18 percent of roles in tech — including engineering, data science, product design and more — are held by women in the U.S., and the ratio falls even more sharply when considering seniority.
  • The more senior the position, the lower the proportion of women. Although women account for 19 percent of roles at the entry and mid-level, the percentage drops to 16 percent at the senior level, and only 10 percent of positions at the executive level are held by women.
  • The proportion of women in tech also varies by function, with engineering having the lowest percentage (17 percent) and product design having the highest (36 percent).
  • Geographic location doesn’t matter: Gender diversity in tech is nearly identical from the west coast to the midwest to the east coast.

It’s clear that companies have a lot of work to do, says Zarabi.

“[We] conducted this assessment because we believe that more information brings greater awareness, and greater awareness brings change,” she says. “We encourage companies to take a close look at their makeup and hiring practices moving forward.”

Andrew R. McIlvaine
Andrew R. McIlvaine is former senior editor with Human Resource Executive®.