Knowledge Center

Leadership Careers in High Tech: Wired for Success

This study provides young women in high tech with an easy-to-use roadmap they can use to shape their own careers. Though initially intended for women, this roadmap is useful for anyone interested in pursuing a career in high tech.

Impetus: Catalyst set out to learn about advancement in the high tech industry from a group of 30 individuals, regarded as the current and next generation of leaders, in ten leading high tech companies.


  • Catalyst conducted personal interviews with 30 men and women who are regarded as the tech industry's next generation of leaders.

Findings: There is no one route to the top in high tech. Though there are some critical steps to success, there's no required starting point. Also, a technical degree is not necessary to make it to the top. Mentors and networking are vital to career advancement and mobility, especially for women in the industry. Although many believe that the high tech world is a strict meritocracy, the majority of study participants—especially women—say that the higher you go in the industry, the more important it is to get to know the key power players. Catalyst also found that work/life balance is important to both men and women in high tech; most feel they are not sacrificing their personal lives for their jobs.

Sponsors: America Online Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Dell, Intel, Morrison & Foerster, Texas Instruments