‘Half the Board’: Demanding Gender Parity in Tech Boardrooms by 2025

Girls in Tech’s “Half the Board: 50/50 by 2025” campaign is demanding gender parity in tech boardrooms.

(Girls in Tech)

Women have made up less than 25 percent of the hires in tech over the past 20 years. That needs to change, says Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech sector.

For Women’s Day, the group is launching a campaign called “Half the Board: 50/50 by 2025“—kicking off with an open letter to the tech community from its board members demanding gender parity in tech boardrooms.

Signed by some of the most prestigious leaders in tech, the letter signifies a commitment to honestly and meaningfully erasing the gender gap in the tech workplace.

“Half the Board is a four-year mission for me and my team,” said Adriana Gascoigne, founder of Girls in Tech. “There’s a seemingly endless string of corporate social responsibility announcements about gender parity in the workplace—but so much of it is hot air and empty promises. At the one year mark of a pandemic that’s been absolutely brutal on working women, it’s time to take a hard line and demand a bold objective with a firm deadline.”

The group is expecting to add additional names throughout the month, and new signatories can sign the pledge here.

Read the letter in full below.

March 8, 2021

Dear Members of the Tech Community,

Women in the workplace will continue to be undervalued and underpaid until there is 50/50 gender parity in boardrooms. It’s time to demand Half the Board in the tech industry and put a deadline on it: December 31, 2024. 

It’s that simple. 

Empty statements and performative initiatives will never erase the systemic institutional bias holding women back in the workplace. For too long, the business world — and particularly the tech sector — have stymied efforts to allow women to the top of the corporate ladder. 

Change will only happen when disparities are corrected at the highest levels. 

It starts with Half the Board and the pledge to end the gender disparity in tech boardrooms.

A recent McKinsey & Company study suggests that women exhibit leadership traits for tackling future global challenges at a higher rate than men. When examining the relative importance of these leadership traits, women were observed to outnumber men in frequently displaying inspiration, participative decision making, expectations and rewards, people development, and role modeling. 

Yet women only make up 30% of boards. Yet women with PhDs in mathematics and computer sciences report median salaries of $101,500 while men report $125,000.

Half the Board = no more empty promises.

True diversity in the boardroom is the only way to meaningfully improve work conditions and ensure equality for women and other underrepresented communities. 

Please join Girls in Tech in calling on tech companies to commit to fixing their corporate board structure to comprise 50% or more women by December 31, 2024.

That’s a little less than four years. The average board appointment term is eight years, so there are more than enough upcoming vacancies for tech companies to achieve this goal.

Gender parity in the boardroom will not happen on its own. We can’t do it without you. 

Add your name now, make the pledge to Half the Board and help end systemic discrimination in tech boardrooms. Follow our progress on Twitter and LinkedIn. Then encourage your CEO, colleagues and friends to also make the pledge. Don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for this important cause.

The Girls in Tech board members below have signed the “Half the Board” pledge in their personal capacity. We ask that you join us on this journey by adding your name. 

With Gratitude,

Adriana Gascoigne

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Girls in Tech

Sandy Carter*

Chairman of the Board, Girls in Tech

Jonathan Abrams*

Member of the Board, Girls in Tech

Donna Boyer*

Member of the Board, Girls in Tech

Sastry Durvasula*

Member of the Board, Girls in Tech

Julie Mathis*

Member of the Board, Girls in Tech

Sanjay Mehta*

Member of the Board, Girls in Tech

Raquel Tamez*

Chief Executive Officer, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

Alyson Welch*

Member of the Board, Girls in Tech

*Individuals have signed the “Half the Board” pledge in a personal capacity and their participation does not necessarily reflect the views or participation of the organizations for which they work.

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The team is a collection of Ms. print and digital editors and writers.