Are Stats About Women in IT Misleading?

November 15th, 2013 | Articles, Industry News | No Comments »

women in IT

The latest numbers may show that the hiring of women in the Information Technology sector has increased, but are the figures misleading?

According to the most recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60% of the 39,000 jobs added in “computer systems design and related services” this year went to women, striking a cord in the minds of analysts who were shocked to see that women are now filling more tech jobs than men. These figures double the 34% of tech jobs that were filled by women in 2012, and blow away the proportions from the last 10 years – of the 534,000 jobs added, just 30.8% of them were given to women.

A closer look at the numbers

While this upward trend of women being hired in the tech industry may seem like the beginning of a revolution, a closer look at the facts reveals that these numbers, while promising, are not as impressive as they seem.
The fact still remains that the number of women who were hired to fill tech jobs this year is identical to the figures that were reported in 2012. Moreover, the proportion of women in the industry has been stagnant for well over a decade.

So if the number of women entering the tech industry hasn’t increased since last year then what could account for the large jump in the percentage of female tech hires this year? It is simply because the number of men that were hired this year in tech has severely decreased.

A new hope for women

Although these numbers are not as groundbreaking as they may seem, there are still plenty of reasons for women to feel comfortable in the bright future they are paving for themselves in the tech industry. CEOs like Marissa Meyer of Yahoo are already making headlines and leading the charge for women in tech. Plus, Hackathons and other events that feature female coders are popping up all over the world, spreading a message that girls can and should be involved in the industry.

It may be a matter of time before women can carve out a significant niche in the tech industry but in good time, and with enough motivation, the stats will surely shift.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of Mike Licht via Flickr