About Top Companies

The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) is ideally positioned to pioneer the quantitative benchmarking of gender diversity metrics specific to women in computing. This year, we’re excited to announce the winner and recognize the Leadership Index and Change Alliance at the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in October 2016 – recognizing participants at the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.


In 2008, ABI collaborated with the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University on the first large-scale study of men and women in technology careers. Those findings underpinned our development of a tool to measure and assess the gender diversity of the technical workforce within organizations.

Expert Founding Team

ABI drew on knowledge and experience from its Board of Trustees, partner companies, specialists in human resources, diversity and inclusion and academics who study gender and the workforce. The Trustees formed a strategies and metrics taskforce to guide the initiative’s development. Senior leaders in technology and specialists in diversity and inclusion comprised an industry advisory group to provide insight and data on the technical workforce. Finally, a social science research advisory board collaborated with the ABI research team to review academic literature, select metrics and develop algorithms for the evaluation rubric.

Top Companies Metrics

ABI selected nine critical metrics to assess different aspects of the technical pipeline. Six metrics break out the representation of women technologists, and three other metrics assess career progression through recruitment, retention and advancement. Companies submit data on their technical workforce for each metric during two 12-month periods as specified in the Top Companies instructions.

The current year’s metrics show participants’ representation of women across career levels. We use the prior year data to calculate year-over-year percentage change to evaluate the trend in these areas.

2016 Updates

In 2016, Top Companies will include two additional dimensions of data to gain a deeper understanding of the employee experience.

We are partnering with Kanjoya, a leader in employee experience, to give technology companies insights into key cultural drivers that foster inclusive workplaces and engaged workforces. Through this partnership, ABI’s Top Companies will add measurements of inclusiveness and the impact of cultural elements.

We will also measures company programs and policies to improve the industry’s understanding of how different programs and policies attract and retain women technologists.

We are excited for these pilot measurements and the new insights they will offer. For more details, please review the Top Companies Methods.

Advisory Board

A special thank you to the founding social science research advisory board:
Andrea Davies Henderson, Director, Research and Programs, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University
Matt Huffman, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California Irvine
Alexandra Kalev, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona
Kjersten Bunker Whittington, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Reed College