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Why aren’t there more women in technology?

Business Technology | March 25, 2014

Here’s a complicated question: How come there so few women making a living in the technology fields? It is a question that NPR asked recently in its All Tech Considered blog. And it is a question that people who run businesses ought to be asking, also. It’s no fairy tale that women are not adequately represented in the tech business.

The numbers

In making its case, NPR cited a study from the National Center for Women and Information Technology which says that women make up just 6 percent of the chief executives at the top 100 technology companies. NPR also points to a New York Times story determining that only 8 percent of venture-backed tech startups are started by women.

Not getting better?

The future doesn’t look any better with regards to women in technology. According to the NPR story, there’s also a lack of women gravitating to high-school and elementary-school technology and science. The numbers are clear. What isn’t clear is why women are shunning the world of tech.

Always merit-based?

NPR says that defenders of technology say that those that succeed are the ones that work the hardest and generate the best ideas. But NPR argues that there’s more to success in the tech field than this suggests. Many of the most successful tech entrepreneurs — the vast majority of which are men — received significant financial help from other males. So merit isn’t the only reason why people rise in the tech field. This is something for small business owners to keep in mind. It may be time for them to start hiring more women to staff their IT departments.


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