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  • 08.19.16

The number of women in IT peaked in 1990 and has fallen ever since

After all the talk about diversity in tech, and all the energy spent trying to attract women to the field, IT remains a largely male-dominated occupation, and one increasingly reliant on foreign-born workers. That’s the hard truth from a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

In 1990, about 31% of jobs under the general heading “IT” were filled by women. After that the number fell 6%, the report says, to 25% in 2014.  Meanwhile, the number of women in the workforce in general has grown from 38% to 47%. Foreign-born workers now constitute almost a quarter (24%) of the U.S. IT workforce, and that number is growing, the report shows.

The IT field in general has blossomed in both numbers and complexity over the past four decades. In 1970 there were about 450,000 IT jobs in the U.S.; now there are 4.6 million (or about 2.9% of the workforce). Only three categories of IT jobs existed in 1970; now there are 12. MS