The gender gap among coders is slowly shrinking according to the 2018 Women in Technology Report from HackerRank released last week. Women are learning to code at an earlier age and choosing more formal computer science and STEM degrees to advance their coding careers according to the study. Conversely, women still tend to serve in more junior positions despite comparable experience.
HackerRank surveyed over 14,000 professional software developers, nearly 2,000 of which were women; those numbers are perhaps suggestive of the challenge as women made up only 14.2 percent of the study respondents. Both attitudes and practices are slowly changing according to the report:
“As a result of the PC Revolution, kids of the 1980s were especially curious to learn how to code at a young age. Over time, as technology has been embedded in society, the drive to start coding before the age of 16 has been declining overall. Meanwhile, an interesting trend is taking shape in parallel. By the time students enroll in CS 101 today, young men and women more likely to start on equal footing than older generations. More specifically, there was a 20 percentage point gap between men and women over 35 who began coding before 16 years old. Today that gap has shrunk down to just 7 percentage points.”
But women over 35 years old are 3.5x more likely to hold junior positions.
“Despite being just as capable as their male peers, women are still far more likely to hold junior level positions, regardless of age. In fact, 20% of women over 35 are still in junior roles — that’s 3.5x more likely than their male counterparts. The tides are turning. But there’s one fact that’s hard to ignore: Women are by far more likely to be in junior positions than men…regardless of age,” notes the report soberly.
Link to 2018 Women in Technology Report: https://research.hackerrank.com/women-in-tech/2018/
Link to larger 2018 Developer Skills Report: https://research.hackerrank.com/developer-skills/2018/