Read more at NyTimes.com
In the year ending in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the net change in the number of employees in the computer industry was 60,000. The net change in the number of female employees was 36,000 — or 60 percent of the net change, according to the bureau’s data.
Yet it does not necessarily mean that the tech industry hired more women than men. The bureau’s figure is a net change, meaning the numbers reflect new employees and those who left. More men than women probably left their jobs — because there are so many more men working in the tech industry. For example, it is possible that 100,000 men left their jobs, and 124,000 men were hired, while 10,000 women left their jobs and 46,000 were hired.
The data also includes all types of jobs, not just technical jobs. Women account for fewer than a quarter of the engineers at most tech companies, but are found in higher numbers in human resources, public relations and administration. (Technical positions, however, are more likely to lead to senior roles at tech companies.)
Finally, the government’s industry classification, “computer systems design and related services,” is broader than the traditional tech industry. It includes not just writing software, designing computer systems and operating data centers, but also working at retail stores that sell technology, offering support services and doing CAD design.
And some of the biggest tech companies, including Google and Microsoft, did not hire more women than men in the last year, though hiring of women increased slightly at Microsoft.
Women account for about a quarter of all employees at Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle and Microsoft, according to data from PayScale, a company that provides compensation information.
Still, many in the industry are aware that women are underrepresented and are trying to change that — with efforts that include a toy start-up thatencourages girls to become engineers and programs that teach girls to write code. In addition, executives like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer serve as role models.
The efforts seem to be having some effect. They just haven’t yet flipped hiring practices on their head.