Public companies continue to face pressure to concern themselves with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and their auxiliary, diversity and inclusion (D&I). As investors and large investment firms intensify their interest in ESG, a company’s gender inclusion and equity is becoming more important —socially and financially—than ever before. Despite this, women remain underrepresented in the tech industry.
According to data from the National Center for Women and Information Technology, women make up 47% of the work force but only 26% of computing roles.1 In fact, in a field that has seen the most growth of all STEM jobs in recent decades, women’s representation in computer occupations has decreased from 32% in 1990 to the 26% today.2 Although the percentage of women graduating in computer science degrees has increased, the retention of this gender diversity is wavering. While 54% of men who majored in computer science stay in the field, only 38% of women continue, a tend often dubbed a “leaky pipeline”. 3
Despite these sobering statistics, the tech industry is showing some promising, albeit slow, trends. Deloitte Global predicts that large global technology firms will reach women representing 33% of their workforce in 2022, a two percent increase from 2019.4 However, smaller tech companies with less resources may find it difficult to attract and retain female employees and many lack companywide goals to increase hiring and promotion diversity.
Why does it matter that you consider these trends and their potential effect on your tech business? According to S&P Global, women are the most underutilized source of growth today. Diversifying the workforce could increase the global market capitalization and add massive GDP growth in the US.5 At the company level, your business could capitalize on this potential growth while making your company more inclusive and aligning with ESG values. A 2020 report from McKinsey found that gender-diverse companies are more likely to outperform and be profitable than companies lacking in gender diversity. 6
The matter of the fact is corporate ethicality is more than just nicety, it is a powerful movement towards greater growth and success. Not only does intentionality in ESG and D&I bolster the ethicality of your company, it has a impact on consumer behavior, investment prospects, and workplace productivity. The tech industry may have the furthest to go in achieving the greater representation and equity for women, and the most to gain.