Inclusivity Is Key to Retaining Women in Tech

Recent research from Accenture and Girls Who Code showed that half of women who go into tech drop out by the age of 35. 

The “Resetting Tech Culture” report said that women “have actually fallen further behind at the very moment when tech roles are surging and vital to the U.S. economy and its continued leadership around the globe. Unbelievably, the proportion of women to men in tech roles has declined over the past 35 years.” Additionally, the report said:

  • The percentage of women in tech roles has dropped from 35% in 1984 to 32% in 2018.
  • Women are 2.5x more likely to drop tech roles than other roles before 35. 
  • 27% of computing roles in the United States are held by women overall, but just 3% and 2% are held by African American and Hispanic American/Latina women, respectively.

The report noted that inclusive work environments are key to helping women advance and thrive. Specifically, “in less-inclusive workplaces, the likelihood that a woman will advance to manager is just 28%, compared with 40% for men.” However, in more inclusive workplaces, the likelihood of women advancing to manager and beyond by age 30 increases by 61%, and for women of color it increases by 77%.

Workplace factors that help women thrive include: 

  • A diverse leadership team that provides role models and publishes targets.
  • Policies and practices designed to level the playing field.
  • Diversity and individuality are actively encouraged.
  • Flexibility and control over how, when, and where employees work.