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Research: Women making significant gains in tech since 1978

Ahead of International Women’s Day, LinkedIn has released new data that shines a light on industries and countries that are welcoming more women in power.

Looking at LinkedIn profiles, researchers found that the arc of progress is slow, but it bends towards more women getting hired. The good news: The arrows of progress are sharply pointing upwards in science and technology careers. The bad news: Women are still missing in the highest levels of power in the corner office. The new survey found that overall representation of female leaders in the workforce has increased by just over 2%.

More women getting hired and leading in STEM

It’s time to dust off your coding skills and books on agile. The 2018 survey found that in the past 40 years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs have been the fastest-growing industry. For example, the software and information technology industry showed almost a 25% increase in women workers. The career with the strongest growth in 2018 was test development engineer (+243%). This year’s findings align with last year’s survey that also found that STEM jobs had the biggest spike in growth. The careers with the strongest growth in 2017 were user experience designer (+67%), chief technology officer (+67%), and web developer (+40%).

This is good news. Technology has historically been a world where women are underrepresented.

In 2012, only 14% of American engineers were women. Back in 2014, psychologists announced that almost half of women engineers quit the field or never use their degree in engineering after graduating. Now, that’s starting to change.

Unfortunately, one area where women are still not gaining enough is in top leadership. Women made up only 18% of all CEOs in the workforce, according to LinkedIn’s findings in 2017.

These findings show us that gender parity is still a mountain to climb, but there are significant footholds of progress that have thankfully been made in the last eight years.

Monica Torres is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.

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