If there was ever an inspiration for women in the tech industry, it’s Zhou Qunfei. This self made billionaire is the founder of Hong Kong based touchscreen manufacturing company Lens Technology. With a net worth of US$7.5 billion she is the richest woman in tech and rivals many of the men. Not far behind is Bet365 founder Denise Coates, who’s worth US$2.9 billion, and Judy Faulkner who founded healthcare software firm Epic, netting her US$2.6 billion.
However, for every success story there are still some statistics that equality champions just don’t like. After all women still only make up 7 percent of the richest tech billionaires.
Likewise GGV Capital’s Jenny Lee is a true pioneer, becoming not only the biggest female investor in the tech industry in 2015, but Forbes’ overall top venture capitalist as well – the first women to earn such a title. However, only 4.2 percent of venture capital investors in the United States are women, so Lee is an extreme exception to the rule.
Perhaps recognising the under-representation of women in tech, or hopefully realising that women do genuinely have something to offer, 2015 marked a huge hiring spree. The top 8 technology companies in the world – Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo!, Ebay, Apple, and Google – are currently hiring women at an average growth rate 238 percent faster than men. Of course, men still greatly outnumber women in each of these companies, but it’s a step in the right direction.
This also seems to be part of a broader trend. Facebook’s Chief Operating officer is Sheryl Sandberg, then there’s Youtube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki. IBM, HP, and Yahoo! also have female CEOs. Furthermore Ford, Walmart, AT&T, and many other leading corporations also have female Chief Information Officers. In fact 17.4 percent of the entire Fortune 500 have female CIOs, while 6 of the top 15 are also women.
In an effort to further the growth of women in tech, certain venture capital firms have made it their mission to only fund tech startups that are founded by women. Leading the charge in this investor protest include Cowboy Ventures, Aligned Partners, Forerunner, Built By Girls, and several others.
Although perhaps not directly related, women now make up 20 percent of tech startup founders across the world. The US average is slightly below at 18 percent, though cities like Chicago and Boston have been able to foster a particularly female friendly community, with 30 percent and 29 percent of their tech startups created at the hands of women. Silicon Valley itself is not too far behind at 24 percent.
One driving force behind the increase in women founding their own companies may be bad experiences within existing firms. According to research around 30 percent of women who quit their job at an existing tech company do so because they feel they aren’t being promoted to high enough positions and aren’t being paid enough for the hours they commit. Upon leaving 32 percent then either join a new tech venture or work as self employed contractors.
That being said it does seem things are starting to correct themselves. With the top 8 most successful tech companies now bringing in women in record numbers, and women in tech becoming self made billionaires, perhaps we’re not too far away from female icons replacing Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
The following infographic takes a closer look at the female tech landscape.
This post The promising numbers for women in tech (Infographic) appeared first on Tech in Asia.
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