The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. The United States Department of Labor estimates that by 2016 there will be more than 1.5 million computer-related jobs available. Technology job opportunities are predicted to grow at a faster rate than jobs in all other professional sectors, or up to 25 percent over the next decade.1
Highly-qualified women are well-positioned to move into these open jobs, yet the industry is failing to attract this talent. Furthermore, women already employed in the technology industry are leaving at staggering rates. Failing to capitalize on this talent threatens U.S. productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. To further strengthen the U.S. position as a technical leader we need to examine the reasons why the industry is not attracting more people with varied backgrounds and take action to stem the current tide.
In 2004, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) set out to address this challenge. Since its inception, NCWIT has been compiling data from existing national sources and sponsoring research projects on technical women in an effort to understand why participation is declining and how companies can reclaim the technical talent of women and other underrepresented groups. This report, sponsored by NCWIT’s Workforce Alliance, is the culmination of these efforts and brings together the latest findings from recent research on technical women.