What is Gender Equity?

  • Gender equity is a set of actions, attitudes, and assumptions that provide opportunities and create expectations about individuals, regardless of gender.[1]

General Computer Use

  • Although the overall percentage of women using the internet remains close to that for men according to Pew, the rate of internet adoption amongst female youth exceeds that of male in the United States.
  • Despite the fact young females in the United States are more likely to be internet users and use many electronic devices, exhibiting equal levels of skill with computing technology when compared to males, their abilities are likely to be underestimated, even under self-assesments.

Gender Equity and Education

  • Often teachers and parents in the United States assume that it's natural for computers to interest boys more than girls--it has been theorized it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.
  • School software programs in their design sometimes can reinforce gender bias and stereotypical gender roles. 
  • Girls consistently rate themselves significantly lower than boys on computer ability, and boys exhibit higher self-confidence and a more positive attitude about computers than do girls.[2]
  • Girls make up only 17 percent of those who take high school computer science advanced placement tests. Women receive less than 28 percent of computer science bachelor's degrees, down from a high of 37 percent in 1984.[3]
  • Research indicates the number of women earning computer science degrees continues to decline, even though women are earning college degrees in increasing numbers in science and engineering.[3] 

Gender and the IT Industry

  • On average, women in tech careers are making 92 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. While hardly full parity based on dollar value alone, it's considerably higher than the 73 cents on the dollar women earn compared to men in jobs overall, according to 1998 U.S. Census data.[4]
  • Fifty-six percent of women say that there is greater gender equality in IT than in other industries, although they remain much less convinced than men (75 percent).[5] 
  • Glass Ceiling 
    • Definition: The U.S. Department of Labor's definition of a glass ceiling is "artificial barriers, based on attitudinal or organizational bias, that prevent women and minorities from advancing within their organization and reaching their full potential."[6] 
    • More than 60 percent of women say the glass ceiling is a reality in IT, citing gender bias, stereotypes and the perception that women are less knowledgeable than their male counterparts.[7]


[1] WEEA Equity Resource Center
[2] "Girls and Technology," Cynthia Lanius
[3] "Creating More Women Coders," Kendra Mayfield, Wired News.
[4] "Working on the Pay Gap," Larry Keller,
[5] "Survey Highlights Gender Gap on IT Issues," Kathleen Melymuka, Computerworld.
[6] "Breaking the Glass Ceiling," Robert B. Reich.
[7] "The Anatomy of the Glass Ceiling," Accenture.