Data Shows a Higher Share of Males in Oregon’s High-Tech Industry

by Brian Rooney

September 28, 2017

Interest in encouraging more women to work in the high-tech industry has led to requests for more information on the current breakout of employment by gender. Oregon’s high-tech industry currently has a higher share of males and has been trending toward a higher share of males for decades.
The high-tech industry in Oregon is defined by a group of industries at the four-digit North America Industry Code System (NAICS) code level that has been adopted by the Oregon Employment Department and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators show that at the beginning of the second quarter of 2016, Oregon’s high-tech industry was 69 percent male and 31 percent female. Looking back in time, there has been a slow but steady upward trend in the percentage of males, increasing from roughly 61 percent male in the early 1990s.

Within the high-tech industry, the industries with the largest share of males in 2016 were aerospace product and parts manufacturing (84%), semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing (73%), and software publishers (70%). One industry, other information services, which includes companies that store and provide access to information through the internet, had a slightly higher share of females at 52 percent to 48 percent male.

The disparity becomes more apparent at the occupational level. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data shows that in computer and mathematical occupations in 2015 Oregon was roughly 76 percent male and 24 percent female. In architecture and engineering it was roughly 85 percent male and 15 percent female.
The higher percentage of females in the industry data compared with the occupational data is likely due to other, nontechnical occupations at tech companies such as front office, finance, and marketing. It may also help to explain the tech sector industry trend towards a higher percentage of males in recent years since workplaces overall have become more technical through time.

For more information about Oregon’s high-tech industry, read Emily Starbuck’s article: Oregon's High-Tech Employment Trends - What is High-Tech?

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