Women make up half of the world’s population, and in several countries including Iceland, the UK and the US, women make up more than half of university students. As women’s participation in higher education, politics, and business grows ever higher, female representation in the tech world remains low. Women are a huge untapped talent pool but many startups have been slow to realize this.  

Today, most tech companies and startups have only a small fraction of women in their ranks. In Silicon Valley startups, women tend to make up 30% of the workforce (compared to 47% of the national workforce), but still far less when it comes to tech-specific roles. But it wasn’t always that way. Historically, the tech world had far more women than it does today. In 1946, the first professional programmers, responsible for creating the foremost electronic computer, were women. And African-American women’s behind the scenes contributions as NASA’s “human computers” in the 1960s are only just receiving widespread recognition via the film, “Hidden Figures”. In 1983, the share of computer science degrees awarded to women in the US was at an all-time high at 37%. After that peak, the share of CS degrees achieved by women declined to just 18% by 2013.

The situation is particularly bad in Europe, where less than 7% of of tech positions in Europe are filled by women compared to 15% in the US. A 2014 study also showed that Europe is tied for last place (11.2%) with Africa and the Middle East when it comes to representation of women in tech leadership positions. North America took the lead with 18.1%, followed by South America (13.4%) and Asia (11.5%).

 

women in tech

Although the current lack of women in tech is at times frustrating, the rich history of women in the industry is incredibly inspiring and only motivates us further to do our part to reverse these statistics. We believe that the tech and startup industry has a special role and responsibility in promoting women and creating this change, not only to nurture the world’s largest untapped pool of talent, but also to set an example to society at large.

Dalia is proud to contribute in this respect. When it comes to tackling the imbalance of diversity in the workplace, merit-based hiring only scratches the surface. Our strategy starts at the core of the talent sourcing process. We endeavor to have a diverse talent pool after our shortlisting stage by staying active in meetups, events, and communities for women-in-tech and other underrepresented groups. Thanks to our combined efforts one third of our technical positions are filled by women. We’re not at full gender parity, but we’re still five times the European average.

Last month, we hosted the meetup group for Women Who Go Berlin, an organization lead by one of our developers, Ronna Steinberg, that provides mentorship for those learning to program with Golang. And yesterday we had a great time at the Tech-Marktplatz Berlin presenting career opportunities to the refugee community. If you’re based in Berlin and have an initiative geared towards promoting greater diversity in tech, please get in touch! We’re excited to help welcome women and other minority groups to the tech industry in greater numbers! And, if you’d like to find out more about what opportunities we offer, check out our Careers page.