Why only 18% of data scientists are women

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While data scientist is one of the most in-demand jobs in America, 11% of data teams have no women, according to a Harnham report.

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Creating a more diverse workforce can have many benefits for tech companies. Tom Merritt shares five tips for getting women interested in applying.

While data scientist is the most promising job position of 2019, that may not be the case for women, according to a recent Harnham report. Only 18% of today’s data science roles are occupied by females, and 11% of data teams don’t have any women on them at all, the report found.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to achieving workplace diversity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The report surveyed more than 1,000 working professionals, the report found an ongoing gender gap across data roles, with women only accounting for an average of 31% of data-related positions. This number falls to 24% when considering senior roles, the report added.

The gender gap extends across all areas of tech, not just data positions. From cybersecurity, to programmers and developers, women remain outnumbered and underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts. Even female remote workers face a pay gap, indicating pay inequality is by no means an outdated problem.

“The business case for a diverse workforce is clear—research has continuously proven that diverse teams yield better results,” Stephanie Brooks, partner at Harnham, said in a press release. “A diverse workforce creates a more holistic business; one filled with more innovative products and services, in addition to creating a more stimulating, enjoyable and challenging environment for individuals to thrive in. In order to remain competitive in attracting and retaining the best skills in the market, businesses must explore ways to accommodate and support a diverse range of talent.”

While companies have strived to increase the population of women in STEM fields, gender diversity remains a significant issue. The majority (82%) of hiring managers named diversity the top issue in 2018, according to recent research from LinkedIn.

The global market for diversity and inclusion technology solutions totals at nearly $100 million, and is projected to continue growing. However, technological solutions won’t solve an organization’s attitude and environment around workplace inclusion and diversity.

For advice on how to improve your organization’s culture, check out TechRepublic’s article on the five recruiting and retention tips for improving diversity in tech.

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