Success still hangs on relationships and privilege

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Two female programmers working on new project.They working late at night at the office.

March is Women’s History Month and last Friday was International Women’s Day. Many organizations, including tech companies, took the opportunity to celebrate the occasion in different ways.

Google, for example, partnered with UN Women to share stories of women’s rights defenders around the world, Facebook held an event that shone the spotlight on notable women in the community, and Twitter asked prominent users to tell tales of inspirational women in their lives.

These actions are certainly welcome, yet what’s also notable is what wasn’t said: the gender gap is still a real problem in the tech industry. According to recent diversity reports, women are still underrepresented in most tech companies, especially in technical and leadership roles.

Google’s overall workforce, for example, is currently 30.9 percent women, who make up 21.9 percent of tech positions and 25.5 percent of company leadership. At Facebook, women comprise 36 percent of global personnel, 22 percent of technical roles and 30 percent of leadership.

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