The Best Companies For Women Who Work In Tech

Thirty-five large companies voluntarily opened up their workforce data. Here are the firms that come out on top–though they, too, have a ways to go.

Want to work at a company that consistently hires and promotes women into top positions? Don’t listen to platitudes about efforts to change workplace gender balance. Just look at the data.


For this year’s rankings of the Top Companies for Women Technologists, the Anita Borg Institute evaluated submissions from 35 companies, which employ a total of 91,000 women technologists–that is, women in technical roles.

The companies were judged on a number of factors, including representation of women at different seniority levels (entry, mid, senior, executive), representation of women in non-management technical tracks, and recruitment and promotion of women.

The winner is the banking and financial services firm BNY Mellon.

Past winners include Bank of America, Intel, and American Express. This is the first time that ABI is releasing a full list of top performers–every other year, the organization only announced the top winner.

None of the companies this year had anywhere near 50/50 gender representation; the average for all the companies which submitted data (including those that didn’t make the top list) was 21%. Overall, women make up about 23% of the technical workforce.

Why would a company subject itself to ABI’s assessment? There is the potential for glory in being one of the top performers, of course. No doubt that attracts job candidates. But ABI also gives participating companies data to help them understand where they stand compared to other companies in their industry. “We help them to identify where there are areas they should look at improving,” says Elizabeth Ames, vice president at ABI.


It’s not, however, easy for the public to compare companies against their industries using the list. For example, while Google and Apple made the top-performers list, we don’t know whether Facebook doesn’t match up–or whether it didn’t submit its data.

Neither do worthy smaller companies have a chance of making the list. For now, ABI only accepts submissions from companies that have a technical workforce of at least 1,000 employees. “We’re doing a lot of work to try to understand the impact when companies have smaller numbers, because one or two people can skew the numbers quickly,” says Ames.

Overall, companies seem more eager to submit their data than in past years. Last year saw 24 submissions, compared to the 35 entrants this year.

“There are women in the technical workforce today that are making a huge contribution and are extremely successful. I also want to focus on that,” says Ames. “Sometimes when we focus on it as a negative, that doesn’t encourage other women to come into it. There are woman out there that are succeeding.”


About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.