Girls Who Code survey reveals discriminatory hiring practices in the tech industry, highlights persistent barriers to closing the gender gap in tech

The organization surveyed over 1,000 college-aged women, half had either had a negative experience applying for a job in tech, or know a woman who has.

August 22, 2019 (New York, NY) — Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, released a report detailing widespread sexism, discrimination, and outright harassment in tech hiring practices. 

The organization surveyed over 1,000 college-aged women within its network. Around half of the women surveyed—most under the age of 20—have either had a negative experience applying for a job in tech, or know a woman who has. The experiences were representative of startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. 

Other key findings include: 

  • Of those who had negative experiences, the majority (158 or 54%) interviewed at a company with a noticeable lack of staff diversity. 
  • One quarter of women surveyed have had an interviewer focus on their personal attributes rather than their skills (74 or 25%).
  • Nearly one quarter of women have encountered biased questions or inappropriate verbal remarks (61 or 21%).

“Tech has solved some of the world’s biggest challenges — but it hasn’t cracked the one closest to home: toxic, sexist workplace culture,” said Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code founder and CEO. “It starts before women even get in the door, when they’re still teenagers in college applying for their very first jobs. We need tech to start being honest about deep-rooted sexism, and to commit real dollars and action to addressing it.”  

Following the release of the report, Girls Who Code alumni created a petition calling on tech to commit to more equitable hiring practices. The petition, authored by seven alumni all currently working in or studying tech, calls for diverse hiring panels, gender-neutral job descriptions, tracking and reporting diversity and inclusion for hiring, and decency. 

“We’ve all experienced discrimination, sexism, or outright harassment during interviews for jobs in tech,” wrote the Girls Who Code alumni. “We deserve better. We’re smart. We’re qualified. And we’ve fought like hell to get to get to where we are because we love computer science, and because we think tech can change the world for good. So we’re calling on companies to commit to equitable hiring practices.”

To view and sign the petition, visit: https://www.change.org/p/tech-commit-to-equitable-hiring-practices-because-girls-and-women-deserve-better-techtoo

For the full report visit: https://girlswhocode.com/research/


Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and College Loops program, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached 185,000 girls to date through its programs and 100 million people through campaigns, advocacy work, and New York Times best-selling series. To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com.