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Why Aren't There More Women In IT?

July 11th, 2013

Women in TechAre there women in tech?

Yes, but the truth is, not many. Certainly no where near their  proportion to women in the work force. At last count, women accounted for barely a quarter of the IT professionals though they account for half the civilian workforce.

Why that is, what challenges women uniquely face in this traditional male field, and what some colleges and universities are doing to increase the number of women enrolling in computer science classes are addressed in a special report "Women in Tech."

Remarkably, in 1985 women accounted for 37% of the computer science graduates in the U.S. By 2010, the percentage had been cut in half.  No one is sure why that is, though one explanation for the dearth of women techs comes from Lyla Perrodin, CIO of MRIGlobal:

Young females can encounter social pressure not to excel in math and science. They lack female role models to show them that you can be a “techie” and still be “cool.”
There are plenty of other ideas, though no hard facts, and certainly no agreement. Yet even without a cause, America's tech schools are looking to increase their enrollment of women in computer science courses. Twenty universities are participating in the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s Pacesetters program, which gives special help to women tech students.

Though only two years old, the program has already added 1,600 female recruits to tech programs.

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