Study reveals the true level of gender bias in Silicon Valley employment

We’ve heard a lot about gender inequality when it comes to the tech business throughout 2014, and as we head into a new year, a new report has once again underlined the spectre of inequality in the industry.

Two major areas where women tend to be outnumbered by men are those of engineering and leadership roles, and the latter is an area in which the Gender Diversity in Silicon Valley report, produced by Fenwick & West (and spotted by Mashable), has thrown up an interesting statistic.

It found that looking at the companies comprising the Silicon Valley 150, just 11 per cent of their executives were women. That compares to 16 per cent across the S&P 100 (which still isn’t a very large percentage, of course).

The report also found that in Silicon Valley, only 10 per cent of directors were female, and just 8 per cent of committee chairs (less than half the figure of the S&P 100).

The report noted: “A wide array of factors contributes to the under-participation of women in the technology sector, and the relative lack of gender diversity at the most senior levels of leadership in public companies often reflects conditions that existed and individual decisions that were made 20 or more years ago.”

The study authors hope it will “spur and inform additional thought and discussion among the participants and leaders in the Silicon Valley ecosystem on how to create and sustain a more diverse workplace”.

You can check out the full report here. This is a topic that is certainly in mind for the big tech firms, none more so than Microsoft, following Satya Nadella’s foot-in-mouth moment over women’s pay last year.