Women make up 59% of the US labor force and almost 51% of the entire US population. In 2014 there were 1,114,000 jobs in software development and this is expected to grow 17% in the next 10 years.

In 2015, top tech companies reported significant differences in the ratio of male and female employees. For example, Intel reported 76.2% of their staff as male, Microsoft 75.7%, Google 72.2% and Facebook 71.2%.

The the ratio of male and female employees in leadership roles is even more disparate.. Microsoft reported only 12.5% of their leadership as female, Google 16%, Intel 16.8% and Facebook 23.1%.

In 2013, just 26% of computing jobs in the U.S. were held by women, down from 35% in 1990, according to a study released in March 2015 by the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that promotes gender equality.

For many women, technology careers aren’t even on the radar. For example, Indiana University enrolls about 8,000 freshmen every fall, about 50% of them women. Science and computing isn’t on the radar for 97% of them, according to Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity and education at Indiana’s School of Informatics.

The problem is not just due to sexism and unconscious biases, but a lack of women applying and staying in technology roles. A study of UT students in 2009 found that 26.6% of males surveyed chose a degree in Engineering or Computer Science, whereas just 6.2% females surveyed chose the same degree path.

According to a study by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization focused on expanding opportunities for women, women with MBAs are likely to enter tech-intensive industries, but 53%of those who do leave the technology field, compared with only 31% of men.

Interestingly, researchers have found that code written by women was approved at a higher rate (78.6%) than code written by men (74.6%) on Github.

Programs like ChickTech educate girls on what they can do with a career in tech and sets them up with mentors to help them succeed.

After the inaugural ChickTech: High School in 2013, research showed that ChickTech changed high school participants’ attitudes and feelings around technology and their place in creating it:

  • 71% of our participants had never attended a technology workshop before ChickTech.
  • 118% overall increase in confidence in participants technology skills.
  • Those who are very interested in a technology career increased from 14% to 46%.
  • 60% reported an increase in interest in a technology career

In 2015 ChickTech: High School showed tremendous results:

  • 55% of our participants had no experience creating tech projects before choosing ChickTech
  • participants who felt “confident” or “very confident” in their technology skills increased from 27% to 74%
  • participants who felt “informed” or “well informed” about technology increased from 46% to 91%
  • we increased the number of high school participants who were “interested” or “very interested” in a tech career from 47% to 89% …in only one weekend


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Cheng, Roger. “Women in Tech: The Numbers Don’t Add up.” CNET, May 6, 2015. http://www.cnet.com/news/women-in-tech-the-numbers-dont-add-up/.

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ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3.