Software and Stilettos: More Tech Jobs Now Going to Women than Men

women computers

For the first time in history, women have eked past men as the most popular hires for tech jobs. Yes–as in IT support, engineers, developers and even more of the positions typically reserved for geeky guys. (I’m sorry, I meant geniuses.)

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sixty percent of the 39,000 tech job hires between January and September (2013) went to women. “In every other year of the past decade, men claimed a greater share of new tech jobs,” reports Business Insider. Typically as much as seventy to eighty percent of tech jobs go to men in a year. So, what gives? Why the sudden shift?

CNN notes, in a let’s-call-it-a-bit-more-than-slightly-sexist-tone, that where exactly the hires are going is unclear, “It’s possible tech firms could be hiring huge teams of female administrators and still mostly male engineers.” Right, because all that engineering is like, really complicated and stuff! Does anyone have a nail file? I think I just chipped my pinky typing “definition of bullshit” into the Google.

It’s not just the jobs that are going to women, overall these computer-thingies and all kinds of digital content have piqued women’s interest. Last month, the Telegraph reported on a study that found women over age 35 now outnumber men when it comes to playing digital games. “In Turkey, Brazil, Netherlands, US, UK, and France, there are more women over 35 gaming than men, and [the report] states that 73 per cent of Turkish women aged 35-44 play online games.”

Should we even discuss how many women are running the booming online porn industry?

The shift is likely due, in part anyway, to women tech stars like Yahoo CEO and ex-Googler Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (and let’s not forget EcoSalon’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Laura Klein). Mayer and Sandberg were all over the media this year, making the tech industry look less like the good ol’ boys club and more like a non-gender-specific industry ripe for female influence. Sometimes, it’s even downright sexy.

But, big surprise: women still aren’t earning as much as men, according to Business Insider. “In computer and information systems roles, for example, women working full time make only about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men.”

Regardless of why it’s happening, it’s a pretty big swing in favor of women, who still only make up a little more than thirty percent of tech industry jobs in total. The year’s not yet done, either. Neither are women.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Image: Mike Licht

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.