Bringing More Than Dinner To The Table

Female Lego minifigures of an astronomer, a paleontologist and a chemist.Ask any tech company what one of the biggest challenges they face is and they’re likely to mention difficulty recruiting talent. It’s a big problem for startups and established companies alike, and it’s not just a problem for Silicon Valley — there are plenty of places in the Midwest that face the same challenges. A quick Google search on the topic will yield a bunch of hits about why recruiting tech talent is such a struggle and what companies might do about it.

Reading through these, though, I found one possibility for ameliorating the issue conspicuously absent from the proposed solutions — focus on recruiting more women into tech. Women account for over half of all degrees granted by U.S. institutions of higher education, but they account for only about 12% of Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and 20% of computer programmers. Getting more women into tech could mean a win for both employers, who would have a bigger, more diverse workforce to tap, and for women, who would have more access to high-demand, well-paid jobs.

So why aren’t there more women in tech? What could we do to change that? What are the women that are in tech now doing and how did they get there? These are some of the topics we’d like to explore with the Earthling blog’s Women In Tech (tag: WIT) series, which we hope will become part of a larger conversation about getting more women into some of those open seats at the tech jobs table.