Tech is overloaded with men.
- A recent survey of the top 9 tech companies in Silicon Valley by Fortune reveals that on average, women comprise about one-third of the workforce (2015)
- In 2013, only 6 of the Tech 100 (the 100 largest US technology companies by revenue) had female CEO’s
- In 2013, less than 15% of the Tech 100’s 980 total directors were women
This male-dominating phenomenon has not gone unnoticed, and movements to bring more women into tech are in motion. Movement advocates cite how a more gender-balanced workplace performs better financially and demonstrates superior productivity, and further explain that if women represent 52% of the market, there is an inherent need for new technologies to be influenced by women. More productivity and better representation are both great selling points, however, they shouldn’t even need to be considered when deciding on hiring more women: Women are naturally the better candidates for manager and VP roles, not men.
This advantage can be explained through brain types: Men on average are known to have more systematic and logical brains (Type S), while women are known to have more empathetic and emotional brains (Type E). With this difference in mind, it makes perfect sense to see more men in fields like engineering and science and more women in fields like teaching and nursing. Men would naturally be better in technical fields because they are better at systemizing; they understandably make up most of tech companies today.
However, not everyone is coding and designing within tech. There are countless VP’s and directors who don’t do any engineering at all; they instead spend their time managing and leading teams. An engineer would benefit from a Type S brain, but for a successful manager, being more systemic only helps to some extent. Managers also must have strong people skills to get the most out of their team. A recent survey of over 2000 CEO’s, managers, and professionals revealed that the most important leadership quality they look for is the ability to empower your employees. To empower employees, managers need strong social skills and high empathy. With more women being Type E’s, they are naturally better suited for managerial roles.
Tech companies must see how beneficial women are to their organization, as their Type E brains make them better managers than their male counterparts. Women must also realize their empathizing value and take advantage within companies. The tech industry needs more women and there needs to be more publicity that shows why.