Knowledge Center

Women in High Tech, Globally

While many research reports examine the business case for women in the various industries in the workplace, high tech is another industry where women are definitely needed. While the lack of women at upper decision-making levels could potentially result in a bias in shaping policies for R&D, this also means that research could be potentially less innovative – due to lack of diversity.1

High Tech Employment in the U.S.

  • In 2012, out of 66,914,000 employed women, just 5.7% (3,816,000) of women had computer and mathematical occupations, and just 4.3% (2,846,000) of women had architecture and engineering occupations.2

High Tech Education in the U.S.

  • In 2010, 57.1% of women enrolled in tertiary studies were in the science, mathematics, computing, engineering, manufacturing, and construction fields.3

High Tech Employment in Canada

  • According to the 2006 Census, 500,525 women and 621,925 men were employed by professional, scientific, and technical services industries.4
  • In 2009, 3.3% women and 10.6% men were employed in natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics occupations.5

High Tech Employment in Europe

  • In 2008 in the EU, there were almost 50,000 high-tech manufacturing enterprises, and 756,000 knowledge-intensive service enterprises. Of all countries in the EU, the UK had the greatest number of high-tech knowledge-intensive service enterprises (144,006), which was almost one-fifth of the EU total.6
  • 1.1% of the total labor force was employed in high-tech manufacturing.7
  • Women were 39.2% of the total high-tech manufacturing labor force in the EU.8
  • In just five EU countries – Portugal, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Hungary – were women more than half of all high tech manufacturing employees.9

High Tech Education in Europe

  • In 2010, the graduation rate for women in engineering degree courses in Europe was 20%.10
  • In 2010, the United Kingdom’s graduation rate for women in engineering degree courses was 15%.11
    • However, in the United Kingdom, girls are shown to outperform boys in subjects including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).12
    • In 2009, 72% females and 55% males received letter grades of A-C in Design and Technology.13
  • In 2010, United Kingdom figures indicated that of 6,400 enrolled students, only 7.7% of females graduate with a diploma in engineering.14
  • Just 31.4% of all STEM graduates in Germany are women.15
  • Of all women graduates in Germany,
    • 13.0% studied science, technology, or math,16
    • 7.1% studied engineering.17

High Tech Education and Employment around the World

  • In Japan, 23% of women obtain university first degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.18
  • In Japan, 660,000 women and 1,320,000 men were employed by the Scientific Research, Professional, and Technical Services industries.19
*Note: The European Commission defines High Tech Knowledge-Intensive Services as post and telecommunications, computer and related services, as well as research and development.20

How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women in High Tech, Globally. New York: Catalyst, 2012.