Time is apparently up, or so they tell me at least.
The people who say this may know how to tell that the time is up. That does, however, rather seem to be the limit to their skill with numbers.
There is, you see, a bit of an issue with the numbers – and the logic – at times.
The fastest growing sector is, quite obviously, tech. This is also where we find the people not only getting the richest but doing so in the quickest way possible.
Thus, goes the reasoning, to reduce the inequality we should have more women in tech.
This is all logical and good.
The up and coming software companies should focus on hiring more women.
This too, is a decent enough idea. Here, however, we hit a bit of a snag.
Where exactly are Google and Facebook et all going to find all the women to close the gap?
Whatever the strategies for getting women to start coding have been in recent past they clearly are not working. The number of women graduating with a tech degree is not going anywhere fast. Percentage wise we have this rather un-progressive progression of events.
So the percentage of female tech graduates peaked in roughly 1983. It then falls of a cliff and keeps going downhill from there until finally stabilizing a decade ago.
It doesn’t get that much better when we look at the raw numbers either.
The total number of graduates may be starting to go up but at a rather slow rate so cannot do much more than keep the gap from widening further.
There has also always been quite a bit of entropy so we cannot really extrapolate anything to prognosticate about the current year or beyond.
This is further illustrated if we look back back 10 years to 2008 and compare with the previous 2 decades.
Looking back 10 years to 2008 and further to 1998 and 1988 we can see that the numbers are not exactly skyrocketing.
Total CS graduates 2008-09 was just below 12000 and both in 1998 and 1988 they were slightly above that. So not a huge win for the nice progressive year which gave us president Obama.
Other comparisons are not so great either. 2015-16 looks to be excellent by comparison since there were over 10K more recorded graduates than 2005-06. 2014 is also fairly good.
2013-14 on the flip side had a lack of almost 4000 compared to the decade prior.
While there is some anecdotal evidence of an uptick in recent years there is no real reason to think that 2018 and beyond will be wildly different.
The demand that Microogle InstaFaceTube, or whatever tomorrows mega corps will be called, should hire enough women to close the gap will likely seem as overly optimistic as it was when people said it 10 years ago.
Short of starting a massive operation for gender reassignment of all the neckbeards, how precisely, should we expect the tech sector to solve an impossible equation?
Education statistics source: National Center for Education Statistics. (https://nces.ed.gov/)