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Female Leadership in Tech Is Falling

The tech industry has never been viewed as a particularly female-friendly field, but the reality may be worse than its image.

The already thin ranks of high-profile women leaders in tech was further lessened in recent weeks, with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Meta’s chief business officer Marne Levine both leaving their respective roles in February.

With the backdrop of Women’s History Month, Tacy Byham, chief executive officer of DDI, an international human resources and leadership development consultancy company, says it’s no surprise the number of women in tech leadership roles is still low.

Her company’s research over the past 20 years shows that while the number of women in technology leadership roles has been rising, it’s only ever reached 33%.

To be clear, Meta and YouTube parent Alphabet both reported higher levels of women in leadership roles year over year in their most annual recent diversity reports — Alphabet at 30.5% and Meta at 36.7%.

But across the entire tech sector, the percentage of women in tech leadership roles is trending down, currently at 28%, according to DDI’s 2023 Global Leadership Forecast, which surveyed 1,827 human resources professionals and 13,695 business leaders from over 1,500 companies around the world.

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen that percentage fall significantly,” Byham added, noting that pandemic-related issues around caregiving responsibilities and the insular nature of the industry are two reasons behind the drop.

On top of that, women experience a disproportionate amount of inequity, stress, and burnout in the workplace that prompts them to leave, Byham said.


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