The Anita Borg Institute’s Top Companies for Women Technologists is a national program that recognizes companies committed to building workplaces where women in technology roles can thrive. Top Companies is the only program that provides a consistent benchmark of the technical workforce across a wide range of industries.
Top Companies uses a rigorous methodology to analyze data from participating organizations and produce insights across three key areas: representation, employee experience, and programs and policies. 60 organizations participated in Top Companies in 2016, a 71% increase over 2015. Participant companies collectively employ over 1.3 million workers, including more than 540,000 technical workers, across industry verticals including Consulting, Finance, Insurance, Media, Research, Retail, Hardware, Software, and Information Services. On average, 53% of the workforce at participating companies is technical, with the high end reaching into the 90s.
Top Companies Badges
ABI recognizes participating companies with three badges designating their status as part of the Change Alliance (all participating companies), the Leadership Index (companies that score above the mean), and the Winner (the company with the highest overall score).
In September 2017, ABI will announce the Leadership Index, which lists the companies whose representation of women technologists is above the mean. The winner will then be announced on the main stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing in Orlando on October 4, 2017.
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.
In 2016, two additional dimensions were added to the program to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the experiences of women technologists.
In partnership with Ultimate Software, we are able to gather information about workplace experiences directly from technologists. These responses provide insights into key cultural drivers that foster inclusive workplaces and engaged workforces.
We 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 about the deep insights we can gain from these three dimensions. For more 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