Computer science jobs are expanding rapidly today, and yet the gender gap in computing jobs has only gotten worse. Women in tech continue to face discrimination in the form of sexism and harassment. Doubtful? Just look up the disturbing accounts of Uber engineer Susan Fowler, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, and Ellen Pao, junior partner at an influential Silicon Valley venture-capital firm.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, revelations regarding sexual assault, harassment, disrespect for family planning and promotion disparities have been increasingly voiced. These are the types of problems that create imbalances of power and give men in tech rampant privilege over the professional and personal lives of their female coworkers.
And let’s not forget the wage gap. The average female programmer makes nearly 30 percent less than her male counterpart. Women under 25 also earn 29 percent less than men in their age group — and the gap drops to five percent for female workers over the age of 50.
Women in tech, especially young women, are clearly experiencing economic inequality, and while their prominence in computer science has improved, not much has changed regarding tech companies’ efforts to reduce it. In 2014, Google released diversity data showing that women maintained just 17 percent of the company’s technical roles. And yet, in 2017, the company, worth over $500 billion, stated that it couldn’t afford to collect data on the wages it pays its own employees, calling the effort “too burdensome.” Sure, Google.
The rate of women in programming roles has declined steadily since peaking in 1991 at 36 percent. Women now hold only 25 percent of programming jobs, and only four percent of CEO positions in S&P 500 companies. The quit rate in the tech industry is more than twice as high for women, at 41 percent, than it is for men, at 17 percent.