An accessible and timely guide to increasing female presence and leadership in tech companies
Tech giants like Apple and Google are among the fastest growing companies in the world, leading innovations in design and development. The industry continues to see rapid growth, employing millions of people: in the US it is at the epicenter of the American economy. So why is it that only 5% of senior executives in the tech industry are female? Underrepresentation of women on boards of directors, in the C-suite, and as senior managers remains pervasive in this industry. As tech companies are plagued with high-profile claims of harassment and discrimination, and salary discrepancies for comparable work, one asks what prevents women from reaching management roles, and, more importantly, what can be done to fix it?
The Future of Tech is Female considers the paradoxes involved in women’s ascent to leadership roles, suggesting industry-wide solutions to combat gender inequality. Drawing upon 15 years of experience in the field, Douglas M. Branson traces the history of women in the information technology industry in order to identify solutions for the issues facing women today. Branson explores a variety of solutions such as mandatory quota laws for female employment, pledge programs, and limitations on the H1-B VISA program, and grapples with the challenges facing women in IT from a range of perspectives.
Branson unpacks the plethora of reasons women should hold leadership roles, both in and out of this industry, concluding with a call to reform attitudes toward women in one particular IT branch, the video and computer gaming field, a gateway to many STEM futures. An invaluable resource for anyone invested in gender equality in corporate governance, The Future of Tech is Female lays out the first steps toward a more diverse future for women in tech leadership
Doug Branson has written another terrific book! He has the enviable talent of being an outstanding scholar combined with the journalistic flair of being able to write a great story. The story in question is the lack of women in leadership in the technology industry, but all the analysis equally applies to other sectors. The focus is not on what women need to do differently, but rather on what companies need to do to nurture women in the executive pipeline and ultimately to CEO position. This is a fresh perspective in which Branson draws on theories of leadership, corporate governance and feminism and weaves through his writing many engaging accounts of the women who inhabit the technology industry. It deserves to be read widely by both academics and practitioners.
Susan Vinnicombe,Professor of Women and Leadership, Cranfield School of Management
"Branson brilliantly tackles the pervasive and age-old problem of gender inequality in the previously unexplored sector of tech. He does more than just identify whats wrong. He also offers a comprehensive critique of old and new solutions and strategies, identifying those likely to positively impact the trajectory of this sector to make it one in which women thrive.
Hannah Brenner,California Western School of Law
Branson’s expertise as a teacher as well as a legal scholar makes this thorough analysis accessible and meaningful to professionals at all levels—he combines meticulous research and thorough documentation in a very readable, thought-provoking narrative.
Professor Doug Branson has been pioneer in research on gender diversity in corporations. In his new book, he turns his attention to the IT industry an industry notable for its many achievements but also for its lack of gender diversity. Professor Branson examines the history of women in IT, evaluates the solutions that have been advanced previously to promote gender diversity in the IT industry (including mandatory quota laws, mentoring, and a greater emphasis on STEM education) and identifies the solutions that he believes have the best prospects of succeeding. Some think the solution lies with women doing more to advance their cause. Professor Branson puts the case that it is the industry that needs to increase opportunities for women. This important book is a call to action by the IT industry.
Ian Ramsay,Harold Ford Professor of Commercial Law, Melbourne Law School
This is a crucial book on a crucial subject. Douglas Branson brings a wealth of expertise and research to a field sorely in need of both. The barriers to women in the tech industry are persistent and pervasive, and Branson does masterful work in identifying the greatest challenges and most promising responses. It is neither just nor cost effective for tech companies to fail to take advantage of a talent pool that is increasingly female.
Deborah Rhode,E.W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford University