Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Drafting Engineering Talent – is there a Gender Imbalance?

June 7th, 2013

Studies show that men hold 75 percent of all science and engineering jobs. Additionally, those men make on average 14 cents more per hour than their female counterparts. In the United States, this gender gap also applies to science in the schools; a 2009 science exam given to 15-years old showed females outperforming males in many countries with the notable exception of the U.S.

It is obvious a gender imbalance in the world of engineering exists, but thankfully some companies are taking innovative steps to mitigate the issue. Extra steps must be taken to attract females to work in a largely male-dominated profession.

Etsy’s Unique Problem with Gender Imbalance

The online arts and crafts marketplace, Etsy, saw a unique problem with gender imbalance. Nearly 80 percent of its customers were female, while 87 percent of their engineering staff was of the opposite sex. The company wanted to fix this issue, but how?

First off, instead of recruiting high-end female engineering talent to the company, they began a program to develop their own junior engineers into superior engineers. One artifact of this effort is that they started to get calls from more experienced engineers — female and male — wanting to work for Etsy.

The company also co-sponsored a Hacker School session for women held at Etsy’s office. This high-end coding class also helped to raise awareness that Etsy wanted a more gender-balanced engineering staff, and was willing to put their money behind the issue.

Their Efforts saw a Tangible Return

In the two years since Etsy began their program Etsy went from 13 percent female engineers to a ratio a little over 18 percent, an improvement of around five percent. While women are still in the minority, the company showed a 500 percent increase in the actual number of female engineers. This has earned Etsy accolades throughout the industry, leading to more female senior hires at the company.

If you are a female engineer looking to raise the level of your career, consider talking to the crew at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Northwest United States, and a Certified Woman Owned Business, they are the ones who can help you overcome any engineering gender imbalance.

Follow us: