01 Dec 2018

Code Breakers

Increasing the number of women in positions of leadership


Photo courtesy of Deborah Singer

For all of its innovation, the tech sector still lags behind the general economy in gender parity, and the news is only getting worse: Whereas the percentage of women in the US workforce has gradually increased to 46.8 percent in recent decades, the number of women in tech jobs remains far lower. And the figures for women in leadership roles still hover around a far-from-equal 25 percent.

Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in STEM education and in computer science in particular by 2027, ultimately empowering the rising generation of girls to assume positions of leadership. Deborah Singer (MBA 2013) is chief marketing officer of the national nonprofit that is working to transform the idea of what a programmer looks like. Between summer and on-campus programs, Girls Who Code is building a movement to equip young women with the necessary skills for the work ahead.

“Until we see women making it into positions of power at the same rate as men, we need organizations to help us navigate more challenging roads than the ones men have to navigate,” says Singer.


Photo by Stuart Cahill

“Even if obvious gender bias seems to have disappeared, more subtle forms of bias or ways in which bias gets expressed can come out in policy or in concerns about work-family conflict. These themes all work together.”
Lakshmi Ramarajan, Anna Spangler Nelson and Thomas C. Nelson Associate Professor of Business Administration


Photo courtesy of Erica Santoni

“HBS has helped me imagine the path to becoming a diversity and inclusion officer within a company—a role that doesn’t exist in Italy, where I’m from. It also broadened my views on what we can do to improve diversity and inclusion across all dimensions—gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and others. This is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.”
—Erica Santoni (MBA 2019), Co-President, Women’s Student Association

Women on Boards: Succeeding as a Corporate Director

Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva

Since 2016, 158 women have participated in the Executive Education program co-chaired by professors Lynn Paine and Boris Groysberg, which provides senior executives with the opportunity to navigate the board selection process and to explore ways to effectively govern as a corporate director.

Return to Tomorrow, Transformed
Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2013, Section J
follow @deborahjsinger

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