Diversity is not exactly on companies' agendas during tough economic times; most corporate directives are about survival rather than creating opportunities. Opportunities in the tech and IT industries seem to be particularly closed-off for women, as tech jobs are typically held by men. The tides are changing, however, and there's research to prove that women add to innovation in tech, with female-filed industry patents slowly growing. Tech companies are catching on, and some are actively looking to hire women for their IT positions. The following are some of the top tech companies hiring women.

In Pictures: A Bigger Salary Or Better Benefits?

    Ever since it appointed Ruth Leach as its first woman VP in 1943, IBM has been at the forefront when it comes to creating a female-friendly corporate climate. The company has more women networks than any other; networks that foster career development, better communication between men and women, and global discussions. Approximately one third of IBM's workforce us made up of women.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)
    In addition to its focus on diversity in tech hiring, Google also partners with dozens of organizations focused on getting young women opportunities in tech fields. The company recognizes that diversity, including female employees, adds to its success, and has created several corporate positions managing its diversity policies. (For more, check out Female CEOs: What It Takes To Climb The Corporate Ladder.)

  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)
    Microsoft has repeatedly made the list in Working Mother Magazine's top companies to work due to its family-friendly culture. Along with a host of diversity partners, Microsoft actively promotes opportunities for teen girls in tech, and sponsors hiring women in tech through the Seed program, a small-business start-up funding program encouraging women in tech fields.

  • Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO)
    To promote women in tech, Cisco has 34 Women's Action Networks (WAN) within its global operations. Cisco also tracks its WAN's diversity success with performance reviews and other criteria, like diversity surveys. In 2009, women made up 23.35% of Cisco's total employees, while 15.47% of its VP positions and higher were also women. (For more about successful women in tech industries, check out 7 Women Inventors And Their Indispensable Designs.)

  • Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)
    Like Cisco and other tech giants listed here, Intel touts a women's focus group among its employees: Women at Intel Network (WIN). The company also supports girls' continued tech education in grades K-12.

  • Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM)
    Along with promoting diversity with some of its Employee Resource Groups, Qualcomm has a women's focus group called Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering (QWISE). The group encourages more women to be hired in IT positions, as well as career growth for female employees.

  • AT&T (NYSE: T)
    AT&T boasts a $244 million investment in employee training, including an accelerated development program for prospective manager, with a nearly 50% female participation. Their $25 million tuition reimbursement program helps more than 4,800 female employees get continuing education. AT&T was recognized in 2009 as one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

Women in Tech
So how do you identify tech companies with good IT opportunities for women? They make women a priority, often with specific programs or groups fostering growth among their female employees. These companies look out for exceptional female employees, allowing them to grow with mentorship, and without the bias against women that's often ingrained in large corporate cultures, particularly in the IT industry.

These tech companies create family-friendly environments, to allow women in tech to enjoy a career while still allowing them to meet their family commitments. Many of these companies support better educational opportunities and the fostering of tech talent among young girls and teens, to encourage women in tech for decades to come. Progressive companies like the ones listed here understand that if they give women a chance at the top, it'll feed their bottom line - so everyone wins.

If you're still feeling uninformed, check out last week's business highlights in Water Cooler Finance: Auto Hope, Bubbling Oil and Obamanomics.

Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Is Another Bear Market Ahead?

    With market volatility recently reaching its highest level, investors are questioning what the outlook is for U.S. stocks in 2015 and beyond.
  2. Investing News

    Why Are So Few Women in Finance? It's Complicated

    The number of women entering the finance world continues to decline for a variety of reasons but a game-changing new nonprofit challenges the status quo.
  3. Investing Basics

    Understanding the Inverted Yield Curve

    An inverted yield curve occurs during the rare times when short-term interest rates are higher than long-term interest rates.
  4. Economics

    How Does the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis Affect the US?

    Learn about the specifics of the Puerto Rican debt crisis and why economists disagree on how significantly it could affect the United States.
  5. Forex

    Brazil's Recession and its Effect on the World Economy

    In 2010, Brazil's economic growth was a precursor to arrival on the world stage. Five years later, the economy is in shambles. What happened?
  6. Economics

    Is U.S. Inflation on the Horizon?

    Inflation, or the general price level of all goods and services in an economy, has remained subdued in the years following the Great Recession. Given recent developments, is the U.S. on the verge ...
  7. Investing News

    Canada in Recession

    On September 1, 2015, Statistics Canada reported that the economy has contracted by 0.5% in Q2 2015, after falling 0.8% in previous quarter.
  8. Economics

    Is a Recession Coming?

    In the space of a week, the VIX Index, a measure of market volatility, spiked from 13, suggesting extreme complacency, to over 50, evidencing total panic.
  9. Investing

    What’s Holding Back the U.S. Consumer

    Even as job growth has surged and gasoline prices have plunged, U.S. consumers are proving slow to respond and repair their overextended balance sheets.
  10. Economics

    A Look at Greece’s Messy Fiscal Policy

    Investigate the muddy fiscal policy, tax problems, and inability to institute austerity that created the Greek crises in 2010 and 2015.
  1. What are the risks of annuities in a recession?

    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the risk of investing in the industrial sector compare to the broader market?

    There is increased risk when investing in the industrial sector compared to the broader market due to high debt loads and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I hedge my portfolio to protect from a decline in the retail sector?

    The retail sector provides growth investors with a great opportunity for better-than-average gains during periods of market ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the correlation between term structure of interest rates and recessions?

    There is no question that interest rates have enormous macroeconomic importance. Many economists and analysts believe the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why should an investor in the retail sector consider the Consumer Confidence Index?

    Investors in the retail sector should consider the Consumer Confidence Index, or CCI, because it measures how consumers feel ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which type of retailers tend to perform best during weak periods in the economy?

    Retail is a broad investment sector comprising many different market segments, such as automotive, building supply, grocery ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!