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Women Technologists in U.S. Workforce Increased, Natives Remain Underrepresented

Analysis of employer data shows that the number of women in the U.S. tech workforce increased for the third consecutive year, and the highest increase occurred at the executive level. However, Native Americans remain underrepresented at a mere 0.5 percent — far lower than their percentage of the general population.

AnitaB.org announced the results of the organization’s annual Top Companies for Women Technologists program yesterday. A nonprofit social enterprise, AnitaB.org is dedicated to building diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.

This year, Top Companies for Women Technologists evaluated 80 companies accounting for more than 628,000 technologists across a variety of fields. Within the participating companies, women held 24.03 percent of technical roles. This 1.08 percent increase is slightly smaller than the 1.2 percent increase in 2017, but represents thousands of new jobs for women technologists.

Although representation increased across all career levels, the most significant increase was measured at the executive level, where the number of women grew 2.1 percent. Women were also promoted at a slightly higher rate than men for the second straight year, with 14.7 percent of them advancing compared to 14.4 percent of their male counterparts.

In general, women from underrepresented groups only make up around 13 percent of the technical workforce.

“We’re encouraged by the improvements companies have made to advance and retain women at the executive level,” said Michelle Russell, Vice President of Programs at AnitaB.org. “But in order to create truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environments, company leaders must focus on setting the tone and implementing policies for broader recruitment methods. They also must create opportunities and foster sponsorships to not only retain but advance diverse talent. As evidence grows for the importance of intersectionality in discourse around diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is crucial to weave diversity into company policies, processes, and decision making.”

AnitaB.org is honored to recognize the 80 participating companies that made commitments to measure and improve performance on critical gender-diversity metrics. This year, the five organizations with the highest cumulative scores in their respective workforce size categories (fewer than 1,000; 1,000 to 10,000; and greater than 10,000 technical employees) earned the additional distinction of placement on “2018 Top Companies for Women Technologists Top 5” lists.

Three companies that have demonstrated impressive progress in their women’s technical workforces will be recognized at the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing (GHC) in Houston, Texas on September 26, 2018.

Last year, Accenture, Geico, Novel and IBM ranked the highest. By measuring progress and setting targets for continual improvement, Top Companies participants can ultimately shape the future of both the tech industry and the entire workforce, AnitaB.org states.

We acknowledge that gender-diversity gains in the industry primarily benefit white and Asian women; Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American women continue to be significantly underrepresented. AnitaB.org encourages all employers to carefully track the representation of these groups to ensure equitable hiring and advancement opportunities,” the nonprofit stated.

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