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The Changing Face of Tech

Growth in women’s representation on boards and in C-suites at tech companies has increased worldwide in the past 10 years, but there’s still a long way to go.

This article is part of S&P Global’s #ChangePays campaign that explores the benefits of increasing the participation of women in the workforce for the capital markets and world economy. Our research about women in technology brings together experts and data throughout S&P Global's many businesses – Market Intelligence, Ratings, Indices, 451 Research, and Kensho – to bring insights to the market under the umbrella of the company's recently created Women’s Research Council. For this report, we compare and contrast our analysis of several datasets, the largest of which is a global set of about 1,280 technology companies for which we examined detailed people data for 2010 to February 2020.

Key Takeaways

  • Gains by women in technology companies worldwide were most visible on boards, but less so in executive positions.

  • It will take decades of change to reach gender parity on boards and generations to attain that throughout companies—unless companies dramatically accelerate their efforts.

  • There is no single solution to achieving gender parity in technology, which we believe instead involves creating positive environments for all employees at tech companies and cultural shifts in some countries. Regulation has led to more diversity on boards, but not at other levels.

  • Gender diversity appears to raise the financial performance of tech companies. Our analysis suggests that a move to parity among executives could boost their financial performance (market capitalization to total assets).

IBM exec talks gender in tech

'We’re still not where we need to be'

Inhi Cho Suh is general manager of global strategic partnerships at IBM, the global technology company with a market capitalization of $117 billion. She talked to S&P Global about the improvements she has seen in the tech industry over the past two decades, and the continued areas for improvement.

How company culture can drive gender diversity

'You’ve got to be deliberate’

Emma McGuigan is senior managing director of technology at Accenture, the IT consulting firm with market capitalization of $120 billion. She is the global lead for Accenture’s Microsoft business group and has held several roles during more than 20 years with the firm. McGuigan spoke to S&P Global about the role company culture plays in improving gender diversity in the tech industry.

ThoughtWorks CFO says support networks are key for women in tech

‘Surround yourself with role models’

Erin Cummins is Chief Financial Officer at ThoughtWorks, a privately held global software consultancy headquartered in Chicago. She talked to S&P Global about how her support network helped her transition to her first-ever CFO role, and the importance of mentors, coaches and role models for women in tech.

How Qualcomm CIO climbed the career ladder

‘Don’t treat me any different than you would a man’

Mary Gendron is the Chief Information Officer at Qualcomm, the San Diego-based semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company with market capitalization of $92 billion. She talked to S&P Global about pursuing her career while her husband became a stay-at-home dad to their three young children.

Marvell Technology Group CFO on starting early to get women in tech

'You have to go from before college'

In 2016, Jean Hu became Chief Financial Officer of Marvell Technology Group, a semiconductor company with market capitalization of $17 billion. Hu spoke to S&P Global about the challenges of recruiting women in the tech industry, and the importance of building a pipeline starting very early.