We have a problem, a very serious problem: there are far too few women leaders in tech.
Part of the problem is that many women are overlooked for men with the same or fewer qualifications. But a bigger problem is that many women just don’t seem interested in tech. So if they’re “not interested,” how do we increase the number of women in tech?
It all starts with education, says Keith Krach, Docusign CEO. “I think it all goes back to education and trying to recruit women in the STEM disciplines. That’s a big thing we struggle with at Purdue. Largest engineering school in the country. The male to female ration is probably about… it’s 80 percent now, and so we’re asking ourselves that question all the time… I think it actually goes back to K-12. How do we get our daughters interested in the stem discipline?”
Luckily, more women are starting to do just that. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Hightail, says that part of the problem is being alleviated simply by the presence of new role models in tech—women like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, who are inspiring women to get into traditionally male-dominated fields. Unfortunately, many qualified women leave the field because of non-female friendly work environments or discriminatory practices.
“The tech industry has one particular challenge, which is more women going into STEM fields and particularly computer science. If we got women at the same percentage as men into computer science, you would have to potentially close the gap in the computer scientists needed right now in our country.”
Keith Krach and Brad Garlinghouse are just two CEOs who are looking to get more women involved in their tech companies. Hopefully, more male tech leaders will start seeing the truth in their words and pushing for more female leadership.