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Here’s What the Tech Industry Really Looks Like for Women

People on social media were outraged on Thursday with a Newsweek cover that depicts a woman whose dress is being lifted by a computer cursor. The illustration accompanies a story titled “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women” that delves into the lawsuits, climate of exclusion, and limited venture capital funding that have marred Big Tech’s standing when it comes to women.

Microsoft CEO Sets Off Firestorm After Women's Pay Remarks 2:26

Over the past twelve months, and amid demands from activist groups and other advocates, some major tech companies including Facebook and Google have released diversity figures that illustrate how their workforces break down along gender and racial lines (for the most part, white workers are also disproportionately represented at these companies). Here are some of those numbers as they relate to women:

  • Apple’s global workforce overall breaks down to 70 percent male, 30 percent female. When the focus is narrowed to tech positions, it shrinks to 20 percent women. In a message accompanying the numbers, CEO Tim Cook wrote that he was “not satisfied with the numbers.”
  • Facebook released diversity statistics in June that revealed a 69 percent male and 31 percent female workforce. When it comes to tech positions at the company, the percentage of women goes down to 15 percent. While the company has attracted attention for hiring Sheryl Sandberg as chief operating officer, women still only occupy 23 percent of senior level positions at the company.
  • Amazon’s numbers break down slightly better: the company’s global workforce was reported at 37 percent female and 63 percent male. Among managers at the retail giant, one quarter are women.
  • Google admitted in a blog post accompanying its diversity numbers that the company had been “reluctant” to publish its workforce breakdown, and that it is “miles from where we want to be.” The company that changed the way the world searches for information is 30 percent female and 70 percent male.

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--- Matthew DeLuca