I am honored to be a Bedford mentor at the University of North Texas School of Law in Dallas. Mentors divide into numerous small groups with students, and each group reads a different book on a matter of public interest. Our book is Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski. So I read with interest an article in the October 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review, “Hacking Tech’s Diversity Problem” by Joan C. Williams. As its title indicates, the article deals with issues at tech companies, but her advice is portable to all businesses. First, though, some statistics.
According to the article, tech companies have a “brogrammer” culture that is very male-focused. Williams notes that 37% of computer science degrees were awarded to women in 1985; by contrast, that number dropped to 18% in 2012. Women held 37% of all computing jobs in 1991; today, it’s down to 26%. And in the tech industry, 41% of women leave their jobs after 10 years, as opposed to 17% of men.