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Women in tech: the current Tiny snapshot

Amy Chen

March 31st, 2021

Written by

Amy Chen

Category

Tiny Sparks

As Tiny’s CFO and Head of HR, I’m thrilled to help kick off our brand new blog series, Women in Tech! We’re exploring some of the challenges experienced by women who work in the technology industry and sharing our own personal journeys as women working in tech. 

We hope this series inspires, educates, and informs men, and women, in the tech industry - or those who are planning for a future career in tech.

Initially, I’ll share a little bit about me and my team, then we can take a look at Tiny’s current snapshot and how it compares to others in the industry.

My role at Tiny

Although my title is technically CFO at Tiny, I am actually responsible for these four areas : 

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Legal 
  • HR

As with many others working in tech startups, I have to wear many hats! Fortunately, I don’t have to do it alone. My back-office team of six (also known as the Finance and People team) includes myself, two staff in the states, and three in Australia. We’re not product producers or rainmakers, but I like to think of us as the backbone and the support system that thread everything/everyone together. Without us, the company couldn't function properly.

I’m heavily involved in the hiring process. As Head of HR, once our people come on board, I am responsible for things like:

  • Checking in on mental health
  • Providing a pleasant, productive work environment
  • Making sure all employee-related matter/logistics are taken care of so other teams can focus on products, features, and selling to customers

Enabling everyone to operate at their best

Our team used to be called “Finance and Admin” but over time, we’ve become more focused on HR. People are key in any company, but especially in a software company where the majority of budgets are allocated to salary expenses. 

My Tiny journey

This is just a snapshot of my journey in tech. I’ll share more details in a future blog. I’ve been with Tiny for more than 11 years now (and have over 20 years of experience as a woman across various technology companies). 

When I first joined Tiny (then Ephox) back in 2010, we had just about 20 people on the team. 

Back then, there were no females on the engineering team at all. While that has changed (as you’ll see in the Tiny snapshot below), the numbers haven’t shifted a great deal.

Tiny’s current male-female ratios

 

Male

Female

Senior Leadership

67%

33% 

Sales

81.82% 

18.18% 

Engineering

93.33% 

6.67% 

Marketing

50% 

50% 

Product and Design

71.43% 

28.57% 

Finance and People

33.33%

66.67% 

Customer Success

50% 

50%

Operations

100%

0%

Overall

78.46%

21.54% 

Across most teams at Tiny, male and female ratios are fairly balanced, except for engineering. This does impact our overall company composition since engineering makes up 46% of staff. 

Benchmarking Tiny against other tech companies

To really understand how Tiny is doing, it’s helpful to compare our ratios with those in other tech companies.

Google (2020)

 

Male

Female

Leadership

73.3%

26.7% 

Technical roles

76.4% 

23.6% 

Non-technical roles

47.4% 

52.6% 

Overall 

68%

32% 

Source: Google Diversity Annual Report 2020

Microsoft (2020)

 

Male

Female

Leadership

77.5% 

22.5% 

Technical roles

77.2% 

22.8% 

Non-technical roles

59.6%

40.4% 

Overall

71.4% 

28.6%

Source: Microsoft 2020 Diversity & Inclusion report

Facebook (2020)

 

Male

Female 

Leadership

65.8% 

34.2% 

Technical roles

75.9% 

24.1% 

Non-technical roles

41.5% 

58.5% 

Overall

63% 

37% 

Source: Facebook Diversity Report 2020 

Github (2020)

 

Male

Female 

Leadership

66.8% 

33.2% 

Technical roles

80.4% 

19.6% 

Overall

71.4% 

28.6% 

 

Source: GitHub Diversity Report 2020

While these numbers do (in some ways) look better than Tiny’s, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s relatively easy for companies to hide or muddle the data on how many women are actually in engineering roles. They might count the product team or design teams as technical roles (and these often attract a higher percentage of women). 

It’s also tricky to truly compare Tiny’s numbers with much bigger companies because it’s a much smaller sample. If even 1-2 more women were to join our engineering team (which hopefully will happen!), it would dramatically impact our ratios.

Other women in technology statistics

Adeva reports that just 3% of female students would see a career in technology as their #1 choice and of the 20% of engineering graduates who are women, 40% either quit or don’t enter the profession.

Meanwhile, data from Entelo’s database of US-based tech job candidates showed that at senior and executive levels, the number of women drops even further to 16% and 10% respectively.

TrustRadius’ 2021 Women in Tech Report shared that 72% of women in tech said they were outnumbered 2:1 or more in meetings, while 26% said they were outnumbered 5:1 or more.

This trend is reflected in that just 8% of the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020 responses came from women.

Why aren’t more women in technology?

While I’d love to see more women join Tiny - especially on the engineering side - it’s unlikely that we’ll see a significant shift in these numbers any time soon.

I believe that the gender gap is due to two main things:

  1. Generally speaking, women tend to demonstrate non-technical strengths like empathy and creativity (which are both valuable in engineering, but less common than technical strengths)
  2. Girls in elementary school are less engaged in technical subjects (science, maths, technology) and are less likely to choose these subjects in high school, which effectively determines their higher education and career path later on

There’s more to it than that, but I think these two reasons are the biggest influence. I’ll talk more about this in a future article and share some ideas about what Tiny can do to address this gap.

Women in tech: the story’s not over

I’ll follow up with another blog within the next month, where you’ll hear more about my personal story and journey as a professional woman in tech and a working mom. Over the coming few months you will also see additional articles pop-up from other women in our team here at Tiny discussing their experience as a woman in the tech industry. 

But for now, please feel free to continue the conversation over on Twitter @joinTiny and let me know what you think. Does your tech organization have similar male-female ratios?

Women in TechEngineering
byAmy Chen

Chief Financial Officer at Tiny. Specializes in structuring and enforcing financial, legal, and HR policies and procedures that help startup companies conform to GAAP and SEC standards for M&A and or IPO.

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    Women in tech: Diversity of perspective and experience matters

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