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LinkedIn Is Being the Change It Wants to See for Women in Tech

The bad news is that STEM has a woman problem. The good news is that everyone is pretty aware of it now and some companies are trying to fix this problem. Last year, LinkedIn announced its Women in Tech (WIT) initiative, which aims to empower the women in tech roles at the company to transform themselves, their careers, and the company – and, by golly, it seems to be working! We'll take a look at how LinkedIn is "tackling this imbalance head-on" and making a difference for women in tech, now and in the future.

The bad news is that STEM has a woman problem. The good news is that everyone is pretty aware of it now and some companies are trying to fix this problem. Last year, LinkedIn announced its Women in Tech (WIT) initiative, which aims to empower the women in tech roles at the company to transform themselves, their careers, and the company – and, by golly, it seems to be working! We’ll take a look at how LinkedIn is “tackling this imbalance head-on” and making a difference for women in tech, now and in the future.

LinkedIn combats the gender imbalance in tech

(Photo Credit: A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive/Flickr)

If there’s one thing we love about LinkedIn, it’s that the company is very transparent and honest about the realities of the under-representation of women in the tech sector. In a recent post on LinkedIn’s blog, Erica Lockheimer, Director of Engineering Growth at LinkedIn and WIT (Women In Tech) lead, even goes so far as to admit that the company “continue[s] to fall short in achieving gender balance among software engineers and other technical roles.”

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What’s more, LinkedIn conducted a study on millions of its members and found that a “significant gap persists” in female representation across several different industries, but particularly in tech, women comprise less than a third of the workforce, and only one in five women are leaders at tech companies – hence, LinkedIn’s Women in Tech (WIT) initiative.

“WIT at LinkedIn is focused on four specific areas: empowering career transformation for women at LinkedIn; attracting the best female talent to LinkedIn; ensuring our culture is always inclusive and engaging; and inspiring the next generation of tech women,” explains Lockheimer.

According to LinkedIn’s 2015 Workplace Diversity Report, the WIT initiative has encouraged a 1 percent increase for women in technical roles and a 5 percent increase for women in leadership roles, a 3 percent increase for representation of women overall. This may not seem like something to write home about, but it’s definitely more progress than what’s been happening for decades prior, so we’ll take what we can get and keep up the good work.

LinkedIn isn’t the only company making a valiant effort to narrow the gender imbalance in tech. Facebook and Google are also going the extra mile to remedy the imbalance and promote a more diverse workforce to fuel innovation.

The problem won’t be fixed overnight, but as LinkedIn has shown the world, change is possible over time. The 1 percent and 5 percent increases for women in tech roles and leadership roles at LinkedIn, respectively, may seem like one small step for women in tech, but, in reality, it’s a giant leap for (wo)mankind.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you doing something great to encourage, empower, or promote more women in tech and STEM careers? If so, share your efforts with our community on Twitter, or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear about the change you’re making in the world.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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