NEW ORLEANS – The Big Easy may have arrived later than Silicon Valley in fast-growing technology, computer and math industries, but the timing has been right for women to rise in these industries locally.
According to a new report by the Brookings Institution, New Orleans ranks No. 2 in the country among large metro areas when it comes to women’s share of holding computer and math jobs. That includes database administration, computer operations and operations research analysis.
Nearly 32 percent of the 578,027 computer and math jobs in New Orleans are held by women, the report states.
“Because the New Orleans market is relatively late newcomer to the technology game, technology has grown here at a time of greater inclusivity than when Silicon Valley was born. It is fitting and appropriate that women are beginning to lead in technology,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNO, Inc.)
Some of New Orleans’ leading employers in the technology and math industries include Geocent, which employs more than 250 people, Lucid Data and Software and GE Capital with more than 100 employees in the technology industry, Hecht said.
“The New Orleans culture is inclusive by nature—everybody is welcome to participate in New Orleans,” he said. He shrugs off the idea of a “boy’s club” in New Orleans like some Silicon Valley startups have experienced.
“When you talk to companies here, there is an explicit focus on increasing the gender and racial diversity of their workforce,” Hecht said.
The Brookings report states, “Women have markedly increased their share of such occupations as database administration, computer operations, and operations research analysis. Many of these occupations see female presence approaching or exceeding 50 percent after 15 years of share growth.”
Hecht notes that the Brookings report comes in advance of the announcement that DXC Technology will bring more than 2,000 technology jobs to New Orleans by 2025.
“The New Orleans market is ranked in technology job growth even before the addition of the biggest job announcement in state history,” Hecht said.
Preparing future workforce
There has been an increase in recruiting more women and minorities to the computer, math and technology industries to fill these new jobs.
As a response to the DXC jobs announcement, Louisiana college campuses have committed to adding curriculum that specifically addresses end-to-end strategies in technology for a global clientele.
Hecht said DXC Technology advocates are working with local non-profits including Operation Spark and Next Op: Veterans to help recruit employees in underserved communities and returning veterans, respectively.
To learn more about DXC Technology job openings, click here.
“Hiring women and minorities is about getting a new perspective in the workplace. Skills are (teachable), but it’s important to have people of different backgrounds to get a full set of perspectives,” Hecht said. “These are high-paying jobs and empowering positions.”
The Top 10 large metro areas for women’s share of computer and math occupations are:
1. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA – 33.4%
2. New Orleans-Metairie, LA – 31.9%
3. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD – 30.9%
4. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV – 30.7%
5. Memphis, TN-MS-AR – 30.7%
6. Richmond, VA – 30.3%
7. Birmingham-Hoover, AL – 28.3%
8. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI – 28.0%
9. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA – 27.8%
10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI – 27.6%
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