More women are studying computer science, but will the tech industry make room?
- There's an upswing in the number of women going after computer science careers, a new report by HackerRank, a tech company specializing in programming, shows. In a study of 14,000 software developers, of which 2,000 were women, the age at which the genders learn to code is closing. The 2018 Women in Tech Report found that young women were 33% more likely to pursue a computer science degree than women born before 1983.
- The report also found that younger women are more likely to be in computer science than older women and that women of all ages tend to be in junior positions, compared to men.
- To advance women in programming, HackerRank recommends that employers work eliminate unconscious bias in hiring, open up clear pathways to promotion and leadership posts to women, and create more inclusive workplaces and policies.
Employers must eliminate bias — both conscious and unconscious — in recruiting and development. But discrimination isn't just keeping women from entering or advancing in the tech industry; it's also forcing out those already there.
To improve retention, employers must make workplaces more inclusive. This can require a complete overhaul of a workplace's culture, but it's possible, as employers like GoDaddy know. But other practices must adjust, too. Employers may want to consider pay equity audits, "promotion flagging," and benefits that help employees handle the responsibilities that more often fall to women.
With a surge in the number of women entering the computer sciences, employers should have more diverse talent pools from which to hire. But it remains to be seen whether the industry will make the necessary changes to advance and retain women.
- HackerRank 2018 Women in Tech Report