Yesterday (April 17th) was Equal Pay Day, a day which aims to draw attention to the stark inequalities in our workforce. When you take the workforce in general, there are shocking statistics that show women are only earning 77% of what their male counterparts are taking home. However, when you look at the tech industry, the problem isn’t that women aren’t earning enough – the problem is that they aren’t even invited.
Gaming, Tech, Programming, and even SEO are often considered ‘boys club’; because women are apparently incapable of coding, understanding a complex machine, or getting to grips with an algorithm. When we see news stories like this – when Sqoot suggested that the only women at their API event would be serving the beverages – it’s easy to see why tech can be a hostile industry for women.
Along a similar theme, this Storify show’s what can happen when women stand up and say something about these inequalities. After complaining to Geeklist about a promotional video which featured a woman dancing around in her underwear, Geeklist responded by attacking the girl who complained and even trying to bring her employer into the conversation.
Here’s how the big Search Engines and Social Media Sites stack up: (And this data was very hard to find.)
Women only make up 25% of Microsoft’s workforce. (As of 2006, current data not available) Microsoft does run a Women Employee Resource Group which has around 12,000 members worldwide (out of a total of 92,000 employees.)
I couldn’t find data for Facebook or Twitter. And according to the Pinterest team photos, they have 1 woman in their ranks.
It’s not all bad news though – trying to address the huge inequality, the online retailer etsy has started a grant program which will support 20 women as they attend a three-month programming course.
So, is SEO any different?
Just look at the team page here at BFD, and you’ll see that we have swayed in the opposite direction. Browse the web and you’ll find there are also some great blogs written by women in SEO who aren’t willing to be defined by their gender. There are even articles which suggest there may be more women in SEO than men. So, perhaps SEO is the exception to the rule?