Shock Turnaround: Tech Industry Now Hiring More Women Than Men

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But what sorts of jobs are these women filling?

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

You could be forgiven if you’ve started to tune out news about women in tech -- it’s so uniformly dreary after all, with article after article noting the relative dearth of women, the dismal numbers of female grads coming out of CS programs, etc. etc. etc. But some new numbers should break up this drumbeat of bad news and get your attention. CNNMoney reports:

Over the last 12 months, the tech industry added 60,000 jobs, and 36,000 -- or 60% -- of those positions went to women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Usually, men make up 70% to 80% of the new hires, but according to the BLS, the tide seems to have turned in the last year.

Now that, no doubt, made you sit up and pay attention. What’s behind the turnaround? Shravan Goli, president of Dice.com, which analyzed the numbers, “believes the spike in tech jobs going to women is due to more active hiring by companies, regardless of gender. Furthermore, Goli says men and women alike are more interested in tech today than in prior years, and tend to be aware from a younger age that they can make a career in the industry,” reports Business Insider, which also suggests female superstars like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer may partly explain the positive data point.

But before we get too celebratory, it’s also worth noting, as CNN doesn’t “that “the numbers don't distinguish between different occupations. It's possible tech firms could be hiring huge teams of female administrators and still mostly male engineers.” There are projects underway to determine the exact makeup of engineering teams, but they are still in the early stages (and they want your data if you’re a company that hired engineers).

What do you make of this new data?

Jessica Stillman (@entrylevelrebel) is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com, contributes regularly to Forbes and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others.