Women's Participation in Seattle's High-Tech Economy

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Shields, Madelyn
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The rise of software development jobs has created a growing source of high-income occupations. Cities and regions with IT clusters need to capitalize on this growth opportunity by making the growth more inclusive to provide benefits for society as a whole. In Seattle, a high-tech economic development strategy has led to an increase in quality jobs and economic innovation. Post-recession job growth has been driven by IT industries that provide high wages, but this growth is accompanied by gender inequality with a growing wage gap between men and women. As an established tech hub, Seattle is home to Amazon and Microsoft, companies with white-male-dominated firm culture. This culture and the associated hiring practices have contributed to a lack of diversity in the industry workforce. An equitable and sustainable high-tech economic development strategy would promote a workforce that is representative of the diverse population, allowing women and minorities access to quality job growth in the high tech industry. Beyond the tech giants, small business drives a significant portion of the high-tech industry in Seattle and greatly contributes to the evolutionary innovation processes.
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