Top Companies for Women Technologists – FAQ

Below are common questions we receive about Top Companies, grouped by topic.

General Questions
Current Participants
The Technical Workforce
Contact Us

General Questions

How can I contact you about Top Companies?

Please fill out this form to contact us with your questions about Top Companies. Thank you.

How do I apply?

Submissions for Top Companies 2017 will open early Spring. We are accepting submissions from March 9 through May 25. Review our instructions for more information about the metrics we gather.

What do I need to do to prepare my company’s data?

You will need to submit up to 18 workforce metrics, as well as information about your programs and policies. We recommend you start by identifying how your workforce aligns to ABI’s Top Companies definitions, and then review our metric explanations.

Why is there a fee to participate?

The Anita Borg Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit. The participation fee is used to cover the program costs including the researchers’ time in developing the methodology and providing customized feedback about your application. In 2016 we offer two levels of participation:

  • Basic Package ($500): Includes a Basic Report with your results, delivered via the web.
  • Premium Package ($3600): Includes a Premium Report with your results and analysis, and a 45 minute call with an ABI staff member to review.

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Current Participants

We made the 2016 Leadership Index! How can we work with ABI to highlight this achievement?

We will issue a press release in early October announcing the Top Companies for Women Technologists Leadership Index. Our PR team at Eastwick will coordinate the release and social media activities. You can contact our PR team at

We will also feature the Top Companies for Women Technologists Leadership Index on the main stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC). As the largest gathering of women technologists in the world, GHC offers a unique chance to draw attention to your achievement. We will make the announcement during the opening keynote Wednesday, October 19, 2016.  Additionally, companies with booths in the GHC Expo will have badge signs prominently displayed.

What can we do to get the word out about Top Companies?

Once the official ABI press release is out, we encourage you to display your badge wherever you can. Here are some suggestions:

  • Your recruitment site or job listings
  • Share on social media
  • If you’re attending GHC, include it on your materials
    • We will provide participants with badges to display at their booths should they choose to do so. We also included the badge next to your company profile in our Expo Guide.

Should we send anyone to GHC for the announcement in October?

ABI always appreciates having representatives, CTO’s and other technical executives attend GHC. Before making plans, however, consider:

  • o representatives will be onstage, except for the Top Companies winner.
  • GHC is sold out and we do not have additional registrations to offer. You will have to use one of your existing registrations.

If you are able to send someone to GHC, you can work with our PR team to decide on a schedule. They will let you know about press opportunities and how to participate in activities before and after the main stage announcement. Contact them at

We would like to publicize our participation in the program, but the Leadership Index is not public yet. What can we do  in the meantime?

We are excited you want to celebrate your participation in Top Companies. You are welcome to use the Change Alliance badge during the time leading up to the Leadership Index announcement. If you need a copy of this badge to use prior to the October announcement, contact us.

How do we know if we are the winner?

We notified the winner by phone when we added the reports to the portal. The winner is confidential until the announcement at GHC in October. The winner is one of the companies on the Leadership Index.

If we just found out that we are on the Leadership Index and now want to send additional people to GHC, can we?

GHC is sold out. We cannot offer any additional registrations. You will have to use ones you already purchased.

How are the badges displayed at GHC? How do people know which companies are on the Leadership Index and Change Alliance at GHC?  

ABI will produce signs of your badge to be displayed at your booth on the exhibit floor. Additionally we will indicate your participation next to your company profile on the printed Expo Guide. You do not need to do anything to receive either of these benefits.

I purchased a Premium Package. When do we get to talk through our reports with ABI?  

Michelle Leahy, Analytics Program Manager for ABI, will virtually meet companies beginning in September. Each company will receive an email notification about signing up for a time using SignUp Genius. Michelle will call you via WebEx at your requested time, and you will have the chance to review your report in more detail and ask questions. This call is scheduled for 45 minutes.

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Will my company’s participation in the Top Companies program be public?

Yes. In addition to a winner, we will announce an annual Leadership Index, recognizing all companies that score above the mean. Additionally, all participating companies will be listed alphabetically as part of our Change Alliance. We believe in recognizing companies that are committed to measuring their progress in building technical workforces that are gender diverse. Companies will be notified of their results in advance of public announcements, and confidential data will never be released without permission. All participants will be able to use a Top Companies badge in their recruiting and other materials, which will be provided to the winner, Leadership Index, and Change Alliance before the Grace Hopper Celebration.

Is my company information confidential?

The Anita Borg Institute will take all reasonable steps to maintain the security and confidentiality of the application data as described in the Top Companies Initiative Non-Disclosure Agreement, which companies must accept to participate.

Data from each company will be anonymized and aggregated with data from other participating companies. Individual, identifiable company data will not be shared, either publicly or in the confidential, customized reports. Peer benchmarking data will only be shared in aggregated form, and only to the extent that the data can be sufficiently anonymized. Results summarized in custom reports for each company are released solely to the company’s primary contact and executive sponsor for the Top Companies program.

All participating companies will be listed on the Leadership Index or Change Alliance in the confidential, customized reports and publicly on the ABI website or in marketing or other materials.

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Are there eligibility requirements for the Top Companies for Women Technologist program?

Any privately or publicly held company, including foreign-based companies, may participate in the program provided they have at least 150 technical employees in their US-based workforce.

To ensure the statistical rigor of our analysis, companies must have at least 25 employees at the senior level (men and women) to be eligible for the Top Companies award or Leadership Index, but we encourage smaller organizations as they can still be recognized on our Change Alliance.

My company is a startup with 50 employees. Why can’t we participate?

We make it a priority to be fair in our analysis and ensure reasonable comparability in the quantitative evaluation process. We are limiting award eligibility to companies with at least 25 technical employees at the senior level. We will consider developing a separate category for small companies in the future and encourage companies with at least 150 technical workers to participate.

If you are a small start up and interested in helping inform our efforts, please contact us!

Is this only for high-tech companies?

No. ABI connects, inspires and guides all organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Companies that participate have come from a wide range of industries, including high tech, financial services, internet services and media. All companies that employ a significant computing workforce should consider participating. Previous winners include BNY Mellon, Bank of America, Intel, American Express and IBM.

I work for a government agency or an academic institution. Can we participate?

We compare organizations that are alike in their workforce and structure, so we can provide meaningful analysis. Currently, we do not include academic institutions in that comparison. We are, however, opening up the program to government institutions in 2016.

Does my company have to be a sponsor or partner of ABI or can any company participate?

Any company with a significant computing workforce may apply. The company does not need to be associated with ABI or any of its other programs.

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The Technical Workforce

We are a global company. Why is this award only based on US technical employees?

The technical labor market looks very different across countries, with variances in the number of graduates and the challenges they face in industry at each career level. We believe the results of this program are most meaningful if we focus on specific labor markets. We started with the US technical labor market, and we intend to continue expanding our program to other countries and technical labor markets.

Your definition of “technical” includes individuals who sit outside the engineering function. Why?

Increasing the representation of women in all technical roles is critical to a company’s innovation. Reflecting ABI’s constituency, we have elected to define the technical workforce as consisting of all technical occupations in computing and information technology. The technical workforce is defined by position, not department. This includes both technical individual contributors as well as technical managers. The definition of technical employees covers four categories: engineering, research and development, and technical design; IT engineering and support; technical services, technical sales and technical marketing; and technical management and leadership. The definition is based on a combination of ABI’s previous research, ongoing review with industry leaders, and a detailed review of standardized lists of positions pertaining to technical roles. ABI’s definition of the technical workforce does not include non-technical roles (such as marketing or finance) nor does it include technical roles that are not related to computing (such as biotechnicians or aerospace engineers). Please see the detailed definitionsfor more information.

Do the data include exempt and non-exempt employees?

Yes, the data include exempt and non-exempt employees of a company as long as they are in a technical function per ABI’s definition. It does not include contractors who are not formally employed by a specific company.

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ABI receives sponsorship from corporations. How do I know my company will be fairly evaluated?

ABI is committed to providing independent evaluation based purely on the quantitative metrics submitted by each participating company, regardless of whether the company participates in any other ABI programs or events. Each company is evaluated based on the quantitative representation of technical women in its technical workforce and its year-over-year progress. The metrics were defined in collaboration with social science experts on gender and organizations, and the evaluation methodology was designed with statistical experts.

What if I’m unable to submit all of the requested data?

The Top Companies program relies on the validity and completeness of the workforce data we collect and analyze. If your organization chooses not to provide a response for one of the metrics, we still invite to participate in the program. However, you will face a scoring penalty and will ineligible for the award. All data that is submitted is treated as confidential and held to the terms of our non-disclosure agreement.

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Still Have Questions?

Contact the Top Companies team to submit a specific question or to request a change to your Primary Contact or Executive Sponsor.

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