November 24, 2008

Study: Silicon Valley low in gender equity

A survey of California's largest public companies has found that the lowest-ranked county for hiring women in leadership roles is the home to Silicon Valley.

Santa Clara, the county that includes some of the world's most famous technology concerns was the worst in the state for the percentage of hiring women for top management positions, a University of California Davis study showed, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

Apple Inc. came in 262 on the list of the state's largest 400 companies with women making up 5.9 percent of the managerial ranks, the newspaper said. Google fared better at 105 on the list with 15.8 percent of its top positions filled by women.

On top of the list for the county was VMware, a developer of virtualization software, where 28.6 percent of its top managers are woman. It ranked 15th in the state.

A joint study by the Institute for Women and Technology and Stanford University's Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research found almost a third of the women in middle-management in high-tech companies plan to quit due to the a perception that advancement includes barriers, the newspaper said.