by Alison DeNisco
Originally published: August 8, 2016
Last month, Qualcomm Incorporated agreed to pay $19.5 million to settle a gender discrimination class action suit—the latest high-profile case to hit headlines and make tech companies reevaluate their own hiring and retention practices.
As tech giants release employee statistics and draw criticism against their overwhelmingly white male ranks, a number of startups launched in recent years aim to offer more blind hiring practices and increase numbers of women and minorities at companies. These span from job posting tools like Textio, which analyzes job postings for gender bias, to Ellen Pao's Project Include, which focuses on managing talent once it's in-house.
Several studies demonstrate the benefits of diverse workforces, including increased financial returns. Yet, the percentage of women among US tech workers has steadily declined over the past two decades. Women held 25% of professional computing occupations in 2015, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology—down from an all-time high of 36% in 1991.