Anita Borg Institute Report Shows Second Consecutive Annual Increase in Women in U.S. Tech Workforce

Slower progress in mid-level, senior, and executive ranks proves an ongoing glass ceiling for women technologists

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) today announced the results of the organization’s annual Top Companies for Women Technologists program, the only industry benchmark based on statistical analysis of employer data. Although the report shows a second consecutive year-over-year increase in the number of women employed in the technical workforce, gains for women in mid-level, senior and executive roles continue to be substantially smaller than those for entry-level workers.

Top Companies for Women Technologists evaluated 63 companies this year, accounting for more than 574,000 technologists across a variety of fields. Within the participating companies, women held 22.95 percent of technical roles. This 1.2 percent increase from 2016 represents a relatively small change, but corresponds to thousands of new jobs for women technologists.

But, despite promising hiring trends, women continue to face significant hurdles as they advance. Representation of entry-level women increased 1.7 percent from 2016, while the mid-level, senior, and executive roles saw considerably smaller increases of 0.2 percent, 0.6 percent, and 1 percent respectively.

On the positive side, 14.3 percent of women technologists earned promotions this year — a slightly higher fraction than their male colleagues’ 13.3 percent advancement rate. But women technologists continue to leave their organizations at a higher rate than their male colleagues, for the second straight year. In the past 12 months, 5.7 percent of women voluntarily resigned, compared to 5.1 percent of men in comparable roles.

The complete 2017 Top Companies Insights Report offers additional data, insights, and methodology details.

“We’re encouraged to see companies hiring more diverse talent, but a lot of work remains," said Elizabeth Ames, ABI’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Alliances, and Programs. "Because advancement is key to retention, we must work harder to remove barriers that keep women from leadership roles. Senior women serve as beacons, encouraging women to stay in technical fields, so it’s crucial that companies build cultures where women can grow and achieve.”

The Anita Borg Institute is proud to recognize the 63 participating companies that made a commitment to evaluate and improve performance on critical gender diversity measures. The 28 organizations whose cumulative scores placed them above the mean ranking earned the additional distinction of placement on the 2017 Top Companies for Women Technologists Leadership Index.

“Thomson Reuters has participated in the Top Companies program for several years,” said Molly Gantz, the company’s Senior Director of Talent and Development for Enterprise Technology and Operations. “The data helps us to measure our progress, compare ourselves to other tech organizations, and share best practices for improvement. We’re proud to earn a spot on the Leadership Index for the second year in a row!”

At the highest level of achievement, four Top Companies Leadership Index organizations stood out from among their peer group, tallying truly impressive gains in their women’s technical workforces. ABI will announce these winners on the main stage at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing (GHC) in Orlando, Florida on October 4, 2017.

ABI strongly encourages organizations of every size to create opportunities for women technologists to receive leadership training, sponsorship, and career-advancing roles. Companies that employ a technical workforce must redouble their efforts to eliminate gender bias and increase inclusion, and examine their promotion processes for transparency. By measuring progress and setting targets for continual improvement, Top Companies participants can ultimately shape the future of our industry.

About Top Companies
Anita Borg Institute’s Top Companies for Women Technologists is a national program that recognizes companies committed to building workplaces where women in technology roles can thrive. The program uses a rigorous methodology to analyze data from participating organizations and produce insights across three key areas: representation, employee experience, and programs and policies.

The Top Companies program does not break down data by race and ethnicity. Gains in the industry primarily benefit white and Asian women; African American, Latina, and Native American women continue to be significantly underrepresented. ABI encourages all employers to more carefully track the representation of these groups to ensure equitable hiring and advancement opportunities.

About Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) connects, inspires, and guides women in technology, and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. We envision a future where the people who create technology mirror those for whom they build it. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, our reach extends to more than 87 countries. ABI is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization.

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Media Contact
Kelsey Quickstad
Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology