To kick off our Women in Technology initiative and announce our scholarship program, Mediaocean held a panel of esteemed women in technology during Internet Week last May to discuss the gender disparity in tech.
In this article on CNET, Terry Collins covers Mediaocean's research study on women in technology. This research, conducted with 3,000 respondants, showcases what Americans think of women in tech and how they believe the industry should change.
by Terry Collins, CNET
A majority of Americans believe that women working in the tech industry don't receive the same level of respect as their male counterparts, according to a survey released Wednesday.
The online survey of 3,000 people also revealed that about 73 percent of Americans think having more women participating in technology would increase creativity and innovation. The survey was sponsored by Mediaocean, a New York-based advertising-tech firm founded in 2012.
On average, women make up about 30 percent of the workforce at tech companies, according to diversity reports published last year by 11 of the world's largest tech firms. In October, for example, Microsoft reported that women comprise 29.1 percent of its workforce but that only 16.6 percent work in technical positions and just 23 percent hold leadership roles. Twitter said women fill 10 percent of its technical jobs, with 21 percent in leadership. And women Googlers account for 17 percent of the search giant's tech jobs, while only 21 percent manage others.
In comparison, women make up 59 percent of the US labor force and almost 51 percent of the US population, according to the US Census Bureau.
Other findings from Mediaocean's survey include:
• About 40 percent of respondents believe technology companies have a hiring bias against women.
• Another 40 percent believe women are less interested in technology.
• At the same time, about 70 percent believe more women should study technology and the computer sciences in college.
• About 73 percent believe young girls should learn technology in elementary school.
• "Unfeminine" was how 17 percent described the technology field.
• And 77 percent described women in tech as "intelligent," 50 percent described them as "focused"and 47 percent consider them "creative."
"I've been in tech for 20 years," said Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise, "and it really struck me how there's a certain part of society that believe fields, including engineering, are so male-dominated."
Many of Mediaocean's findings back up findings reported in CNET's recent series on women in technology, "Solving for XX."
Mediaocean released the results of its study at the same time that it announced the awarding of three $25,000 scholarships to three female college students studying technology.
"Our goal is to engage women and help them acquire the skills necessary to be successful in this new era," said Maria Pousa, the company's senior vice president of marketing.
Over three quarters of Americans agree there are not enough women working in technology, according to new research released today by Mediaocean. This is in sharp contrast to the strong belief that more women in technology would increase creativity and innovation in the workplace (77 percent and 72 percent, respectively).
As a leading software provider for the global advertising world, with 36 percent of its jobs occupied by women, Mediaocean is officially launching its Women in Technology initiative to influence change and shape the future of the tech industry. With a focus on inspiring more women to make waves in technology, a key element of the initiative is the Mediaocean Scholarship Fund, which will support three women as they pursue their career in technology, with a $25k scholarship each.
According to the research, Americans believe there are fewer women in technology because there isn't enough social support (41 percent), women are less interested in working in tech fields (41 percent), and there is a hiring bias against women (40 percent). Interestingly, one-in-five agree tech is an unfriendly environment for women, and 17 percent considered tech to be "unfeminine."
"Our institutions, manufacturing plants, schools, and workplaces have been digitizing for the past few decades. In fact, there will be 1.4 million openings in tech jobs by 2018, but we don't have enough applicants to fill even 60 percent of those openings," said Maria Pousa, SVP Global Marketing at Mediaocean. "With Mediaocean's Women in Technology initiative and scholarship program, our goal is to engage women and help them acquire the skills necessary to be successful in this new era."
• Nearly three quarters (73 percent) believe we should start fostering a passion for technology in women 12 years old and younger
• The best ways to encourage more women to break into the technology field are to:
• Raise awareness of career opportunities (87 percent)
• Provide more tech-focused classes in K-12 grades (85 percent)
• Change the perception of women in technology to be more positive (84 percent)
• With more women in technology, respondents believe the average household income would increase (82 percent)
• Women in Technology are most commonly described as intelligent (77 percent), focused (50 percent), and creative (47 percent)
"Diversity is a key factor in driving the success and innovation of technology companies," said Bill Wise, CEO of Mediaocean. "We are proud to be one of the first mid-sized businesses to offer such an initiative and want to encourage all companies to join this conversation and discuss what steps can be taken to ensure women are presented with the same opportunities as their male counterparts."
Scholarships will be awarded to three women pursuing a career in technology
Open to current undergraduate and graduate students pursuing STEM degrees, Mediaocean hopes that this scholarship will spark interest and give three motivated women the opportunity to make their dream careers in tech a reality. Applicants must submit a short video answering the question, "What is your dream career in tech and how do you plan to achieve it?" by July 1, 2015. Videos will be narrowed down to 10 semi-finalists by a panel of esteemed women in technology, and the three winners will subsequently be chosen by public vote. For more information please visit: wit.mediaocean.com.
Mediaocean hosts Women in Technology panel at Internet Week
Today, Mediaocean is hosting "To Lean or Not to Lean," a panel discussion at Internet Week in New York City with Ari Horie, Founder & CEO of Women's Start Up Lab, Despina Papadopoulos, Founder of Principled Design, Nicole Ellis, Managing Director of Solutions for Teach for America, and Shenan Reed, President of Digital, North America of MEC. Following the discussion, Mediaocean will host a networking event at Mediaocean headquarters for the public to continue discussions around women in technology with panelists and employees. Join the conversation by using #WomeninTech on Twitter.
Notes to Editor
The survey was conducted on behalf of Mediaocean by market intelligence company AYTM.com – Ask Your Target Market, using an online sample of 3,000 U.S. respondents 18+ years old, sourced from AYTM's proprietary panels.
With 30% more female employees than other leading tech firms, Mediaocean recognizes gender diversity in global business drives growth, creativity, and innovation. So why are there so few women in the tech industry?
We conducted a research study to better understand the reason why, and to find out how we can influence change and shape future opportunities for women in tech.