Tech’s Layoff Spree Has Disproportionately Affected Women Workers’ Jobs
The gender balance in tech has long been a source of angst. Historically, Silicon Valley has had low female representation––but things are getting worse.
At 32%, the share of women working in tech is 3% lower than it was in 1984, almost 40 years ago.
The number of women in tech leadership roles has fallen to 28%, and they make up just 19% of senior vice president roles, and only 15% of CEOs. Additionally, 39% of women in tech say that gender bias stymies their promotion chances, with 50% of women in tech roles leaving them by the age of 35.
For girls and women, there are long-standing systemic issues around STEM takeup. Women make up just 21% of engineering majors and 19% of computer science majors, for example. But the problem starts even earlier, despite elementary and middle school aged girls performing just as well as their male peers on standardized tests in STEM fields.
And as a result, gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
None of those numbers represent great news for women in the sector, and the Covid-19 crisis has made things worse. During the pandemic, women were nearly twice as likely to either leave their jobs, be furloughed, or be fired.
Job cuts hit women hardest
Layoffs.fyi, an online redundancies tracker, has found that more than 44% of the 250,898 people laid off between October 2022 and March 2023 were female.
Some of this can be explained by the fact that it is jobs in HR, recruitment and marketing which have been hardest hit by tech’s cutbacks––and these roles tend to have a higher proportion of female workers.
But other research from intelligence platform Eightfold AI has found that women in tech are 65% more likely than men to lose their jobs.
For some women who have been laid off, the problems they face around gender bias, stereotyping, lack of representation, and unequal pay, are enough to make them move from the sector entirely.
Others fight back. In December 2022, two women who lost their jobs at Twitter during layoffs filed a lawsuit, claiming that the company laid off 57% of its female workers compared with 47% of men. The gender disparity was even worse across engineering roles, where 63% of women lost their jobs compared to 48% of men,
If you’re looking to make a move to a company that supports and cares for its women workers, then there are plenty to choose from, according to a 2023 Best Employers For Women list.
Browse the Tech HQ Job Board to find female-friendly companies, as well as thousands of open roles, such as the three below.
Senior UX Program Manager, Payments, Google, Mountain View
Ranking third on the Best Employers For Women list, Google is looking for a Senior UX Program Manager, Payments. In this role, you’ll combine expert project management skills with a passion for user experience to help your team improve the design of products that are used by billions of users. You’ll plan projects, define milestones, assess risks, create actionable insights, and ensure projects meet deadlines. To apply you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent practical experience, along with five years’ of program management experience within design or UX organizations. See lots more jobs at Google.
Software Engineer (Full Time) Canada, Cisco Systems, Ottawa
As a Software Engineer at Cisco, you’ll play a crucial role in driving next-gen software innovations including cloud, mobile, desktop or security spaces. You’ll get hands-on experience working with applications that make technology accessible no matter what device they’re on. This role is suitable for a recent graduate in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related major. You’ll be hungry to get your hands on new, exciting technologies and have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of computer science and engineering, and will be up-to-date on programming and scripting languages. Discover other opportunities at Cisco.
Field Program Success – Data Analyst, Salesforce, Seattle
The Field Program Success Data Analyst is responsible for leading operations, measurement and logistics for the The Field Program Success team. This team is responsible for multiplying excellence and delivering programs which enable the entire distribution organization to amplify performance through best-in-class peer enablement and mentorship. You’ll have a proven track-record of being a proactive problem-solver, incredibly organized, and you will have superb communication skills and experience, relationship building skills and a background in enablement and/or project management. Browse more open roles at Salesforce here.