The tech industry has long sought more female and minority hires in tech positions, but it’s now facing a shortage of qualified women and minorities, with the tech giants struggling to fill those jobs.
Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook are among the companies that have made efforts to hire women and minority candidates through training and other programs, but the companies also face a lack of qualified candidates in tech fields like cybersecurity and robotics, according to an investigation by the National Women’s Law Center.
The tech industry is also having trouble hiring qualified women because of the increasing number of women leaving the field.
In 2015, nearly 7.5 percent of female tech workers were on the jobless list, compared to 6.6 percent in 2008, according the National Partnership for Women and Information Technology.
Women are also more likely to leave tech fields when they are not offered promotions or other job offers, the study found.
And those reasons, coupled with the growing gender pay gap, could lead to an even bigger problem in the coming years.
The companies are grappling with a hiring shortage of women and women-only positions, according a recent report by the Women, Action & the Media (WAM), a nonprofit that supports women in technology.
The report showed that women in tech are facing a “gender pay gap” of about 5.8 percent, according an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with the average for all jobs.
The gap is a significant one, and the study said it “suggests that tech hiring needs to get much more diverse.”
The problem is exacerbated because of a lack on the part of the companies to make sure that female employees are offered the kind of opportunities and opportunities they are eligible for, said Katherine Koehler, the report’s co-author.
“If you don’t do the right things, it can actually have an adverse effect on the workforce and the companies in general,” she said.
Koehler said companies need to consider training, mentorship and other forms of support to get qualified women into tech positions.
She also said tech companies need more gender-balanced hiring in order to help women and people of color succeed.
“I think it’s about creating a more diverse workforce,” Koehl said.
The study was based on the 2013-14 data from BLS.
But the data is based on companies’ own surveys of their own employees and contractors.
The problem could be compounded if the tech industry continues to make hiring decisions based on gender stereotypes, said Amy Luebke, a senior policy analyst with the WAM.
“There’s so much we don’t know about how gender impacts employment in the tech world,” Lueblke said.
She said there are “lots of gaps” in understanding the different types of roles in the industry, and that it is difficult to determine how different companies should be recruiting for these different types.
The shortage of candidates in IT roles has been a persistent concern for tech companies.
Last year, the National Labor Relations Board opened a new investigation into the tech workforce, which found that some companies were discriminating against women.
Tech giants Facebook and Amazon were among the top five companies to be investigated for hiring practices.WAM, which was founded in 1999, has been working on a plan to bring more qualified women in the field of technology, including by focusing on training and mentoring.
The report also noted that the lack of female candidates has prompted companies to seek to recruit more qualified minorities in IT.
Wam is calling on the tech and tech industry to create a more representative diversity pipeline in order for women and other underrepresented minorities to be considered for tech jobs.
“Companies have been reluctant to hire these candidates, or to give them the opportunities they need,” Lübke said in a statement.