Women comprise 51 percent of the United States population, yet this is not reflected in our most influential industry. Tech paints itself as the vehicle to flatten the world out and create limitless opportunities for anyone with an internet connection, but this is not reflected in their workforce.
32 percent of Facebook’s employees are women, with 31 percent making up Apple’s personnel, and Google comes in at 30 percent. 42 percent of all women on the internet use Pinterest, yet only 40 percent of the people creating their product are women.
That said, the overall trend is positive, as Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple, and eBay have all increased the percentage of women working in their companies from 2014 (the data linked to above is from 2015), and the industry has begun to make a concerted effort to increase its level of diversity outside the techbros which are so pervasive that it spawned an entire TV series designed to make fun of them.
Facebook debuted Computer Science & Engineering Lean In Circles, which according to Maxine Williams—Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity—works “in partnership with LeanIn.Org, LinkedIn, and The Anita Borg Institute to bring together small groups of women (and some men) to support one another as they pursue careers in Computer Science & Engineering. There are now 200+ Circles around the world. This summer, two Facebook interns will be leading the Lean [In]tern program, a chapter of Lean In Circles for over 350+ students interning at 115 companies across the Bay Area.”
This fight for equality is not just contained within Silicon Valley and its various feeder hubs, but across all industries. Only 5.2 percent of all Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO—which is a steep rise from 22 years ago, when there were as many Fortune 500 female CEOs as there were Fortune 500 CEOs from other galaxies. This struggle has an ally in arguably the greatest mind of the 20th century, as Nikola Tesla told John B. Kennedy of Colliers magazine in 1926 for a piece called “When Woman is Boss”
It is clear to any trained observer, and even to the sociologically untrained, that a new attitude toward sex discrimination has come over the world through the centuries, receiving an abrupt stimulus just before and after the World War.
This struggle of the human female toward sex equality will end in a new sex order, with the female as superior. The modern woman, who anticipates in merely superficial phenomena the advancement of her sex, is but a surface symptom of something deeper and more potent fermenting in the bosom of the race.
It is not in the shallow physical imitation of men that women will assert first their equality and later their superiority, but in the awakening of the intellect of women.
Through countless generations, from the very beginning, the social subservience of women resulted naturally in the partial atrophy or at least the hereditary suspension of mental qualities which we now know the female sex to be endowed with no less than men.
But the female mind has demonstrated a capacity for all the mental acquirements and achievements of men, and as generations ensue that capacity will be expanded; the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose. Women will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.
Nikola Tesla foresaw the rise of innovations like WiFi and the iPhone, and his prediction that women will rise to the very top of industry is gaining traction by the minute. Living Business reached out to Paste to share this infographic they created, highlighting 10 female entrepreneurs who have big things planned for 2017 in tech and beyond. Check it out:
Jacob Weindling is Paste’s business and media editor, as well as a staff writer for politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.