It’s true: Fewer women work in IT today than they did in 2000. Not only that: Women make up a smaller proportion of employed IT professionals in the United States, according to analysis of government labor data by CIO Insight.
In 2000, 984,000 women worked in eight IT occupation categories tracked by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics: managers, computer scientists/systems analysts, programmers, software engineers, support specialists, database administrators, network/computer systems administrators, and network systems/data communications analysts. That year, women made up 28.9 percent of the nearly 3.41 million employed IT workers.
Fast-forward to 2006, a year in which overall IT employment hit a record of nearly 3.47 million. In 2006, 76,000 fewer women work in IT than in 2000. The 908,000 women working in the profession last year represented 26.2 percent of employed IT pros. That’s a 7.7 percent drop from 2000.
The decline in women IT pros wasn’t a straight-line drop. In 2003, when the economy rebounded from the dot-com bust, women employment in IT rose by 35,000 from 2002, but then dropped off by 43,000 in 2004. But for most of the past half-dozen years, fewer women seem interested in making IT their career.