Groundbreaking Research From Girls Who Code and Accenture Outlines Steps to Double Women in Tech in 10 Years

According to research, SHROs twice as likely as female employees to say that it is easy for women to thrive in tech

Joint report indicates that more inclusive company cultures could drop annual attrition rate of women in tech by 70 percent, leading to 3 million women in tech by 2030

NEW YORK (September 29, 2020) – Girls Who Code, the international non-profit leading efforts to close the gender gap in tech, today released a report in partnership with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) indicating an inclusive culture is key to unlocking opportunities for women who are studying and working in technology,

Importantly, the report pointed to a disconnect between what women experience in their roles and what Senior Human Resource Officers (SHROs) believe about their organizations. Specifically, SHROs (45%) are twice as likely as women (21%) to say that it is easy for women to thrive in technology. In fact, just 38% of SHROs identify building a more inclusive culture as an effective way to retain and advance women in technology roles.

The research showed that a cultural reset would have far-reaching positive results. The analysis highlighted 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%.

“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—and we’re committed to making sure they’re set up for success,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “Thanks to this partnership with Accenture, we’re able to provide companies and colleges with concrete steps to retain and advance women in technology. And it all starts with creating an inclusive culture.”

The report, “Resetting Tech Culture,” analyzed the journey for women in IT, from college to successful mid-career. It uncovered specific environment characteristics to help women in technology advance and thrive. The research revealed that, while women leave technology for various reasons, a non-inclusive company culture accounts for 37% of those — making it the number one cause.

“Our research over the past three years has identified three pillars of an inclusive culture: bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment. We hope to inspire other companies to understand that with a stronger focus on these pillars, the more likely women are to thrive,” said Kathryn Ross, global Open Innovation lead and the Black Founders Development Program lead for Accenture Ventures. “By raising awareness through our findings and action through our recommendations, we hope to advance gender equality in the workplace.”

A nationwide adoption of five cultural practices could help retain 1.4 million young women in tech roles by 2030, which include:

  1. Make it a metric: Set external goals and targets to increase diversity and hold leaders accountable.
  2. Promote equal parenting: Encourage all parents to take leave and make sure they see senior leaders doing the same
  3. Send reinforcements: Provide women with targeted workplace support including mentors, sponsors and employee resource networks
  4. Encode creativity: Reward employees for creativity and innovation as many women who enter technology seek fulfillment and to make a difference in the world
  5. Provide inclusive networking: Schedule opportunities to promote networking with colleagues and senior leaders when everyone can join

Research Methodology

The results are based on three online surveys combined with Accenture’s inclusive workplace culture model. The surveys were conducted online between February and July 2019 and cover three distinct groups across the United States: 1,990 tech employees; 500 senior HR leaders in companies employing people in technology roles; and 2,700 college students.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is an international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, and leading the movement to inspire, educate and equip young women with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century opportunities. Since launching in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached 500 million people through its work and 300,000 girls through its in-person programming. College-aged alumni of Girls Who Code are declaring majors in computer science and related fields at 15 times the U.S. average. In 2019, the organization was named the #1 Most Innovative Non-Profit on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. Follow the organization on social media @GirlsWhoCode.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 513,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at