Why aren’t women seeking tech jobs?

Here’s a challenging question: How come there so few women earning a living in technology fields? It is a question that NPR asked recently in its All Tech Considered blog. And it’s a question that people who run businesses ought to be asking, also. It’s no myth that women are not adequately represented in the tech business.

Bad numbers

NPR looked at a study from the National Center for Women and Information Technology saying that women represent a tiny 6 percent of the chief executives at the country’s top 100 tech companies. NPR also references a story in the New York Times saying that women have created only 8 percent of venture-backed tech startups.

A dim future?

The worse news? The NPR story states that these numbers are consistent in high school and elementary school. Girls just aren’t as involved in technology and science as are boys. As NPR says, you simply can’t argue that there’s a shortage of women in tech. What you can debate is why this is happening.

Always merit-based?

Some have argued that success in tech is merit-based: People with smarts, good ideas and strong work ethics have a tendency to rise to the top, they say, regardless of their gender. The NPR story, though, claims that it’s not always true. Studies have found cases of gender- and race-based bias in the technology fields, according to NRP. This story should inspire all business owners to take another look at their own companies. Are there women in their own IT departments?