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Climbing the Technical Ladder provides an in-depth look into the barriers to retention and advancement of technical women in Silicon Valley's high tech industry, providing practical recommendations to employers on how to overcome these barriers. While most high tech companies recognize the benefits of diversity, gender disparity in technical jobs remains glaringly obvious as very few women reach top technical positions such as Technology Fellow or Vice-President of Engineering.
Our study shows, among other findings, that technical women in management positions are likely to be viewed as less technically competent than their male peers; they are more likely to suffer poor health due to excessive work; and over a third of mid-level technical women have delayed having children to achieve career goals. Interestingly, while some of our findings illuminate the career challenges specifically facing women (for example, the positive impact flexible working patterns can have on the recruitment and retention of women), others demonstrate that women want the same things as their male colleagues. The single most profitable step high-tech companies can take to advance technical women and retain all technical talent, male and female, is to invest in professional development.
This study has been created by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research in collaboration with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. It has been funded by generous private donations to the Clayman Institute and the National Science Foundation grant #0413538.
Download a copy of this new report, at no charge, here. (PDF)