The conventional explanation for why there are so few women in high tech has hinged on a simple statistic: Only about 18 percent of computer science and engineering degrees go to women every year.
Yet tech companies have experts in finance, marketing, sales — not just programming. And women account for nearly 40 percent of all MBA graduates. Moreover, many financial services companies hire equal numbers of men and women at the entry level. So Catalyst, a nonprofit research organization focused on the advancement of women, wanted to figure out if women are faring better on the business side of the fast-growing tech world.
Among MBA graduates, fewer women than men choose to go into tech-intensive fields, Catalyst found in a report released Thursday. And when women with MBAs do opt in, they tend to start out in lower-paying, lower-level positions than their male counterparts do. They also are significantly more likely to leave — not the workforce, as many assume, but the tech industry itself.
Catalyst analyzed the career paths of nearly 10,000 MBA graduates from 2007 to 2014 in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. It found that 53 percent of the women left tech-intensive professions for other work, compared to 31 percent of the men.