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Report: Women hold a mere 7 percent of tech-leadership positions — and that’s down from last year

Above: Illustrator Draftsman 2nd Class Suzanne Dorsett works on a computer at the headquarters for the Commander, Mine Warfare Command.

Image Credit: Expert Infantry

A new survey of 3,211 chief information officers finds that women make up only 7 percent of top tech positions — down 2 percent from last year.

“This suggests that while we do not yet see enough women entering the industry, if they do embark on a career in IT, there is more chance that they could realize their full potential than many other sectors,” reads the report from Harvey Nash. “If more young women can be persuaded to enter the IT profession, it looks as though both they and the industry will benefit.”

A 2 percent drop could be within the year-to-year margin of error, but it does tell us that we aren’t seeing a steady march to equality in the tech sector.

Oddly enough, about one-third of CIOs do not believe women are underrepresented in their departments.

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A similar report this year from research firm, Gartner, found that gender progress has flatlined. “The percentage of women CIOs has remained largely static since 2004,” explained the report’s announcement. “It is disappointing that the overall percentage of women in the role has not grown significantly in the last 10 years.”

This isn’t entirely surprising, given that men dominate Computer Science degrees 18 percent vs. 82 percent in the U.S. and U.K.

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On the plus side, the University of California, Berkeley, saw its first female majority intro to computer science class thanks to heavy campaigning and a shift toward project-based learning. Still, a generation is a long time to wait.


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16 comments
Nicholas M. Cummings
Nicholas M. Cummings

What percent of the population are they? The whole pipeline is flawed, from early STEM education to female cultural stereotypes to computer science programs catered to predominantly male thinking archetypes to the biases against female founders...

Paul Vance
Paul Vance

why aren't there more men working in child care centers, sad fact of life :(

Joshua Parham
Joshua Parham

With a floppy drive, giant monitor and dot-matrix printer, I am pretty sure why I know why this girl isn't ahead.

Teja Peela
Teja Peela

Is anyone confused by this graph? According to the graph 60% of females go to college vs 40% males? Am I reading this incorrectly? 

Khalel Dumas
Khalel Dumas

It's certainly not do to the fact that women aren't wanted. Women simply aren't as interested in tech like men. This is not sad.

Khalel Dumas
Khalel Dumas

I'm pretty sure so-called minorities hold far less than that.

Gilbert Morgan
Gilbert Morgan

It displays more of a lack of interest. I've suggested tech to many of my friends, and only my male friends(and few of them at that) have taken me up on that advice. I have trained with many women, but they have left the field citing disinterest. Personal anecdotes aside, a lot of studies seem to support this. It's not a field for people who aren't passionate about it, regardless of gender.

Prashanth Cherukuri
Prashanth Cherukuri

Can we see what percent of leadership positions in the fashion industry are women? Stop complaining for everything! This is NOT sad by any means.

Art Vuilleumier
Art Vuilleumier

I don't see this as a failure or something that should be an equality quest, BUT, it should be a quest to get young women (and men) interested in a career that many see as a nerdy and boring profession. From where I stand, tech is still a great career path where there are no locked doors, bars, glass ceiling or limiting factors ... use your brain, collect the prize - gender is not a factor (or a hindrance) to your success ! Scientific and technical professions have been a hard sell to women (and Americans in general) for a long long time and this needs to change ...

Larry Storm
Larry Storm

So because jobs in tech may not interest many women or executive jobs in tech that's bad? A woman can do whatever they want to do and low numbers only represent a general disinterest in that field for women. By the metrics described everyone should be furious there aren't more women meat cutters!

Ariadna Jacob
Ariadna Jacob

Thats okay :) Once one of us makes it (implying if I don't someone will - but I def will) we will inspire others and open the doors for other women. We have to build grit. I don't think it's so sad. We all can get where we want to be, we just can't all be and do all.

Tom Spencer
Tom Spencer

whats the number in which it is not sad for you? all hail quotas!