New Research From Accenture and Girls Who Code Outlines Steps to Double the Number of Women in Technology in 10 Years

An inclusive culture is key to unlocking opportunities for women who are studying and working in technology and holds the potential to double their number over the next 10 years, according to a joint research report by Accenture and Girls Who Code, an international nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology.

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“Girls Who Code has 80,000 college-aged alumni, and more on the way who will be entering the tech workforce in the coming years. We’re committed to making sure they are set up for success”

The report, “Resetting Tech Culture,” analyzed the journey for women in technology from college to mid-career. While there are many reasons women abandon a career in technology, the highest percentage of respondents — 37% — cite company culture as the leading cause.

The research shows that if every company scored high on measures of an inclusive culture — specifically if they were on par with those in the top 20% of the study — the annual attrition rate of women in technology would drop 70%. The report provides tangible steps for organizations to undertake a cultural reset that could have a far-reaching positive effect.

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Most notably, there is a significant disconnect between HR leaders’ expectations of their organization’s culture and what women employees actually experience in their roles. While 45% of senior HR leaders say that it is easy for women to thrive in technology, only 21% of women agree, and that number falls to just 8% for women of color. Meanwhile, only 38% of senior HR leaders identify building a more inclusive culture as an effective means to retain and advance women in technology roles.

“Our research over the past three years identifies three key factors for an inclusive culture: bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment. The stronger the focus in these areas, the more likely women are to thrive,” said Kathryn Ross, global Open Innovation lead and the Black Founders Development Program lead for Accenture Ventures. “Creating inclusive colleges and organizations is a winning strategy to improve women’s retention and advancement in technology and for the economy at large.”

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