A recent survey by Stack Overflow highlighted an issue that’s occupied the minds of many in the tech community for quite some time: The imbalance in the number of male and female developers currently working.
When Stack Overflow surveyed roughly 26,000 people from 157 countries, some 92.1 percent self-identified as male; another 5.8 percent said they were female, 1.7 percent preferred not to disclose, and 0.5 percent said they were “other.”
“Software development has a gender balance problem,” read the report accompanying the data. “Our internal stats suggest the imbalance isn’t quite as severe as the survey results would make it seem, but there’s no doubt everyone who codes needs to be more proactive welcoming women into the field.”
Among women who code, some 37.1 percent have been doing so for less than two years, while 30.1 percent have spent two to five years in the field; roughly 15.1 percent have spent six to 10 years, and 9.5 percent more than 11 years. By contrast, some 23.8 percent of men reported coding for 11+ years, while 23 percent said they’d been working in the field for six to 10 years, 31.2 percent said two to five years, and 18.2 percent said less than two years.
While various tech firms have pledged over the past several months to increase the diversity of their respective workforces, a lot of work remains to be done. Last summer, a bit of number-crunching by front-end developer Nick Heer revealed that, out of seven major tech companies (Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo), not one had a workforce that was less than 76 percent male.
“It will come as no surprise that all of these companies are boys’ clubs, particularly tech workers and those in leadership roles,” Heer wrote at the time. “This is one of the biggest issues facing the tech industry right now.”
Among developers, that diversity issue remains a pressing one, despite recent attempts to introduce a broader audience to coding, and it may take a bit of time for the numbers to trend in a more inclusive direction.
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Image: Stack Overflow