Women make up 59% of the US labor force and almost 51% of the entire US population. In 2014 there were 1,114,000 jobs in software development and this is expected to grow 17% in the next 10 years.

In 2015, top tech companies reported significant differences in the ratio of male and female employees. For example, Intel reported 76.2% of their staff as male, Microsoft 75.7%, Google 72.2% and Facebook 71.2%.

The the ratio of male and female employees in leadership roles is even more disparate.. Microsoft reported only 12.5% of their leadership as female, Google 16%, Intel 16.8% and Facebook 23.1%.

In 2013, just 26% of computing jobs in the U.S. were held by women, down from 35% in 1990, according to a study released in March 2015 by the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that promotes gender equality.

For many women, technology careers aren’t even on the radar. For example, Indiana University enrolls about 8,000 freshmen every fall, about 50% of them women. Science and computing isn’t on the radar for 97% of them, according to Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity and education at Indiana’s School of Informatics.

The problem is not just due to sexism and unconscious biases, but a lack of women applying and staying in technology roles. A study of UT students in 2009 found that 26.6% of males surveyed chose a degree in Engineering or Computer Science, whereas just 6.2% females surveyed chose the same degree path.

According to a study by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization focused on expanding opportunities for women, women with MBAs are likely to enter tech-intensive industries, but 53%of those who do leave the technology field, compared with only 31% of men.

Interestingly, researchers have found that code written by women was approved at a higher rate (78.6%) than code written by men (74.6%) on Github.

Programs like ChickTech educate girls on what they can do with a career in tech and sets them up with mentors to help them succeed.

After the inaugural ChickTech: High School in 2013, research showed that ChickTech changed high school participants’ attitudes and feelings around technology and their place in creating it:

  • 71% of our participants had never attended a technology workshop before ChickTech.
  • 118% overall increase in confidence in participants technology skills.
  • Those who are very interested in a technology career increased from 14% to 46%.
  • 60% reported an increase in interest in a technology career

In 2015 ChickTech: High School showed tremendous results:

  • 55% of our participants had no experience creating tech projects before choosing ChickTech
  • participants who felt “confident” or “very confident” in their technology skills increased from 27% to 74%
  • participants who felt “informed” or “well informed” about technology increased from 46% to 91%
  • we increased the number of high school participants who were “interested” or “very interested” in a tech career from 47% to 89% …in only one weekend

Sources:

Bardaro, Katie. “Majors by Gender: Is It Bias or the Major That Determines Future Pay?” Payscale, December 3, 2009. http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2009/12/do-men-or-women-choose-majors-to-maximize-income.

Cheng, Roger. “Women in Tech: The Numbers Don’t Add up.” CNET, May 6, 2015. http://www.cnet.com/news/women-in-tech-the-numbers-dont-add-up/.

“ChickTech Austin High School FAQ.” ChickTech Austin. Accessed March 26, 2016. http://missoula.chicktech.org/chicktech-high-school-faq/#hsresults.

“ChickTech Results.” ChickTech. Accessed March 26, 2016. http://chicktech.org/about-us/results/.

Dickson, Lisa. “Race and Gender Differences in College Major Choice,” June 2009. http://theop.princeton.edu/reports/forthcoming/ANNALS_07_Dickson_Manuscript_June2009.pdf.

“Diversity in Tech | Information Is Beautiful.” Accessed March 26, 2016. http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/diversity-in-tech/.

Jones, Stacy, and Jaclyn Trop. “Tech Company Diversity: How Do the Big Players Compare?” Fortune, July 20, 2015. http://fortune.com/2015/07/30/tech-companies-diveristy/.

Lee, Al. “Majors and Careers: Women vs. Men, Engineering vs. Teaching, High Pay vs. Total Compensation.” Payscale, June 7, 2007. http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2007/06/majors_and_care.

Miller, Claire Cain. “Technology’s Man Problem.” The New York Times, April 5, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/technology/technologys-man-problem.html?_r=1.

Molla, Rani. “Diversity in Tech Companies.” WSJ.com, November 24, 2015. http://graphics.wsj.com/diversity-in-tech-companies/.

“Most Popular Master’s & Bachelor’s Degrees by Gender.” CollegeAtlas.org, June 1, 2015. http://www.collegeatlas.org/top-degrees-by-gender.html.

Olsen, Randy. “Percentage Of Bachelor’s Degrees Conferred To Women, By Major (1970-2012) | Dr. Randal S. Olson,” June 14, 2014. http://www.randalolson.com/2014/06/14/percentage-of-bachelors-degrees-conferred-to-women-by-major-1970-2012/.

Peck, Emily. “The Stats On Women In Tech Are Actually Getting Worse.” Huffington Post, March 27, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/women-in-tech_n_6955940.html.

Ricker, Thomas. “How Do Tech’s Biggest Companies Compare on Diversity?” The Verge, August 20, 2015. http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/20/9179853/tech-diversity-scorecard-apple-google-microsoft-facebook-intel-twitter-amazon.

Terrell, Josh, Andrew Kofink, Justin Middleton, Clarissa Rainear, Emerson Murphy-Hill, and Chris Parnin. “Gender Bias in Open Source: Pull Request Acceptance of Women versus Men.” PeerJ PrePrints, February 9, 2016. https://peerj.com/preprints/1733.

“The Elephant in the Valley.” Women in Tech, 2016. http://elephantinthevalley.com/.

Women and Information Technology by the Numbers, 2016. https://www.ncwit.org/sites/default/files/resources/btn_03092016_web.pdf.

Women Who Tech, May 2012. https://d3rgj9au57pk8c.cloudfront.net/uploaded/attachments/5093.png?v=827641.

Wong, Julia Carrie. “Women Considered Better Coders – but Only If They Hide Their Gender.” The Guardian, February 12, 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/12/women-considered-better-coders-hide-gender-github.

ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3.