What would you say if I told you that the ratio of women in computing peaked at 36 percent in 1991?
I know it seems impossible, but it’s true! Even today, there simply are not enough women in tech roles across the United States.
Although more women are choosing to pursue computer science degree programs today than in the past, women still only account for 18 percent of comp-sci grads. Isn’t that unbelievable?
The good news is that Dev10 is doing something about this issue.
We launched Dev10 as a way to address the tech talent gap--and we saw an opportunity to develop a program that would increase diversity in tech. Dev10 does this by looking beyond candidates who have computer science degrees. By expanding our talent pool to those outside of computer science, we significantly improve access to diverse talent – including women and people of color.
To date, Dev10 has produced a tech talent pool that doubles the number of underrepresented minorities and increased the number of women by 60 percent (compared to industry average).
The underrepresentation of women in tech is not a new topic, and although the industry is making progress, it is slower than we would all like. Men continue to outnumber women in tech jobs for many reasons. A recent article on Forbes.com pointed to the lack of female mentors, gender inequality in STEM jobs, and not having enough hands-on experience with STEM subjects as drivers of the gender gap in tech.
The issue could become a fundamental economic challenge for the U.S. economy if it is not addressed. Overall there are more tech roles than qualified candidates to fill them. A different Forbes article notes the growing chasm between supply and demand for tech jobs:
- According to the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. universities awarded almost 80,000 computer science bachelor’s degrees in 2018. It is not enough.
- Computer science grads in the U.S. are expected to fill only 18 percent of the 4 million computing jobs by 2028.
- McKinsey forecasts U.S. tech job growth at 34 percent through 2030.
For companies interested in hiring women for these open tech roles, the stats are equally dire:
- After peaking in 1991 at 36 percent, the ratio of women in computing roles has declined.
- Women now represent around 24 percent of computing jobs overall in the U.S., and that number could shrink to 22 percent within 10 years unless the tech industry makes fundamental changes to attract and retain more women, according to research from Accenture and Girls Who Code.
Aside from helping to shore up the tech talent gap, there are some compelling reasons for increasing the number of women in tech. These include:
- Diversity Generates More Revenue -- Compared to their peers, companies with high gender diversity deliver slightly better returns, and they have outperformed, on average, less diverse companies. Companies that not only hire but also manage to retain more women, putting themselves in a more competitive position.
- Women Think Differently -- Interacting with a diverse team forces individuals to prepare better and anticipate alternative viewpoints. The presence of women makes individuals anticipate differences in opinion and perspective and makes them assume that they will need to work harder to come to a consensus. This enables better problem-solving, boosting business unit performance.
- We Need More Role Models -- By celebrating female tech leaders, it encourages more girls to pursue careers in tech, thus increasing hiring pool diversity. We need to ensure young girls have strong role models of other successful women in STEM and that women have a seat at the table so they can engage men on the topic of gender equality.
Learn more about how Dev10 can help you diversify your tech workforce.
Dev10 is the talent development arm of New York-based staffing and consulting firm Genesis10.