Top Companies for Women Technologists – History

The Anita Borg Institute is ideally positioned to pioneer the quantitative benchmarking of gender diversity metrics specific to women in computing. 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, its 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 that provided 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 metrics show participant’s 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. ABI collects three additional data points for validation and comparison, but we do not score these metrics.

The data periods for the 2014-2015 Top Companies initiative are:

  • Prior Year:  October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013
  • Current Year:  October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014

For further details, please review the Top Companies Methods.

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