Commentary & Perspective

EEOC Tackles Gender Diversity in the Workplace

On May 18, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a rare public meeting in Washington D.C. to discuss the “chronic underrepresentation” of women and other minorities in technical roles. This meeting on diversity in the workplace focused a spotlight on Silicon Valley, where the underrepresentation of women in technical roles is a well-known challenge. At the meeting, the EEOC also released a report that covers employment patterns in the tech industry.

“The high tech sector has been an innovation leader, transforming how we live our lives today and driving solutions to some of our greatest societal challenges,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. “Let’s harness that creative thinking and entrepreneurship to ensure that the talents of all Americans are fully utilized in this vital industry.”

It’s encouraging to see the EEOC weigh in on the critical issue of the gender gap and lack of diversity in the tech industry. This unprecedented meeting is an important first step — but there are still many steps to take down the path to achieve equal representation in technical roles.

ABI is committed to promoting diversity in the workplace.

ABI is deeply committed to changing the equation and recognizing the myriad ways that women transform technology every day. To create lasting change, ABI offers a number of programs that connect, inspire and guide women technologists and organizations to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive.

One program that is critical to ABI’s mission is Top Companies for Women Technologists, which recognizes organizations with the highest representation of women technologists in their workforce. Top Companies involves rigorous statistical analysis to benchmark participating companies and evaluate their diversity and inclusion efforts. In 2015, 35 companies participated in Top Companies, which included over 439,000 technical employees and more than 91,000 women technologists.

ABI will unveil this year’s Top Companies winner at the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Houston, Texas in October. GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, with 15,000 attendees expected in 2016. This one-of-a-kind conference brings together the best and brightest minds in the field for a three-day celebration of women’s incredible contributions to technology.

GHC, Top Companies and other ABI programs are crucial to peeling back the layers surrounding the issue of the gender gap in tech, a problem that has repercussions far beyond the innovation hub of Silicon Valley.

As the EEOC’s Jenny Yang put it, “Standing still is not an option…Expanding diversity and inclusion is critical to unlocking the full potential of tomorrow’s economy.” We couldn’t agree more.