Top Companies for Women Technologists – FAQ

Below are common questions we receive about Top Companies, grouped by topic.

General Questions
The Technical Workforce
Contact Us

General Questions

How do I apply?

We will collect submissions for Top Companies 2018 in April-May 2018. Pre-register to participate hereReview our instructions for more information about the metrics we gather.

What do I need to do to prepare my company’s data?

You will need to submit up to 18 workforce metrics, as well as information about your programs and policies. We recommend you start by identifying how your workforce aligns to the Top Companies definitions, and then review our metric explanations.

This year we are also offering mandatory Metrics & Definitions webinars to review the specifics of the data we gather. Sign up here to learn more.

Why is there a fee to participate? is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit. The participation fee is used to cover the program costs including the researchers’ time in developing the methodology and providing customized feedback about your application. In 2017, we offer two levels of participation:

  • Basic Package ($500): Includes a Basic Report with your results, delivered via the web.
  • Premium Package ($3600): Includes a Premium Report with your results and analysis, a group call to collectively review the program results (each participating company’s results will remain confidential), and two best practices webinars.

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Will my company’s participation in the Top Companies program be public?

Yes. In addition to a winner, we will announce an annual Leadership Index, recognizing all companies that score above the mean. Additionally, all participating companies will be listed alphabetically as part of our Change Alliance. We believe in recognizing companies that are committed to measuring their progress in building technical workforces that are gender diverse. Companies will be notified of their results in advance of public announcements, and confidential data will never be released without permission. All participants will be able to use a Top Companies badge in their recruiting and other materials, which will be provided to the winner, Leadership Index, and Change Alliance before the Grace Hopper Celebration.

Is my company information confidential? will take all reasonable steps to maintain the security and confidentiality of the application data as described in the Top Companies Initiative Non-Disclosure Agreement, which companies must accept to participate.

Data from each company will be anonymized and aggregated with data from other participating companies. Individual, identifiable company data will not be shared, either publicly or in the confidential, customized reports. Peer benchmarking data will only be shared in aggregated form, and only to the extent that the data can be sufficiently anonymized. Results summarized in custom reports for each company are released solely through the Top Companies program to the designated contacts.

All participating companies will be listed on the Leadership Index or Change Alliance in the confidential, customized reports and publicly on the website or in marketing or other materials.

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Are there eligibility requirements for the Top Companies for Women Technologist program?

Any privately or publicly held company, including foreign-based companies, may participate in the program provided they have at least 150 technical employees in their US-based workforce.

To ensure the statistical rigor of our analysis, companies must have at least 25 employees at the senior level (men and women) to be eligible for the Top Companies award or Leadership Index, but we encourage smaller organizations as they can still be recognized on our Change Alliance.

My company is a startup with 50 employees. Why can’t we participate?

We make it a priority to be fair in our analysis and ensure reasonable comparability in the quantitative evaluation process. We are limiting award eligibility to companies with at least 25 technical employees at the senior level. We will consider developing a separate category for small companies in the future and encourage companies with at least 150 technical workers to participate.

If you are a small startup and interested in helping inform our efforts, please contact us!

Is this only for high-tech companies?

No. connects, inspires and guides all organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Companies that participate have come from a wide range of industries, including high tech, financial services, internet services and media. All companies that employ a significant computing workforce should consider participating. Previous winners include ThoughtWorks, BNY Mellon, Bank of America, Intel, American Express and IBM.

I work for a government agency or an academic institution. Can we participate?

We compare organizations that are alike in their workforce and structure, so we can provide meaningful analysis. Currently, we do not include academic institutions in that comparison. We have opened up the program to government institutions.

Does my company have to be a sponsor or partner of or can any company participate?

Any company with a significant computing workforce may apply. The company does not need to be associated with or any of its other programs.

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The Technical Workforce

We are a global company. Why is this award only based on US technical employees?

The technical labor market looks very different across countries, with variances in the number of graduates and the challenges they face in industry at each career level. We believe the results of this program are most meaningful if we focus on specific labor markets. We started with the US technical labor market, and we intend to continue expanding our program to other countries and technical labor markets.

Your definition of “technical” includes individuals who sit outside the engineering function. Why?

Increasing the representation of women in all technical roles is critical to a company’s innovation. Reflecting our constituency, we have elected to define the technical workforce as consisting of all technical occupations in computing and information technology. The technical workforce is defined by position, not department. This includes both technical individual contributors as well as technical managers. The definition of technical employees covers four categories: engineering, research and development, and technical design; IT engineering and support; technical services, technical sales and technical marketing; and technical management and leadership. The definition is based on a combination of our previous research, ongoing review with industry leaders, and a detailed review of standardized lists of positions pertaining to technical roles. Our definition of the technical workforce does not include non-technical roles (such as marketing or finance) nor does it include technical roles that are not related to computing (such as biotechnicians or aerospace engineers). Please see the detailed definitions for more information.

Does the data include exempt and non-exempt employees?

Yes, the data includes exempt and non-exempt employees of a company as long as they are in a technical function per the Top Companies definition. It does not include contractors who are not formally employed by a specific company.

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Methodology receives sponsorship from corporations. How do I know my company will be fairly evaluated? is committed to providing independent evaluation based purely on the quantitative metrics submitted by each participating company, regardless of whether the company participates in any other programs or events. Each company is evaluated based on the quantitative representation of technical women in its technical workforce and its year-over-year progress. The metrics were defined in collaboration with social science experts on gender and organizations, and the evaluation methodology was designed with statistical experts.

What if I’m unable to submit all of the requested data?

The Top Companies program relies on the validity and completeness of the workforce data we collect and analyze. If your organization is unwilling or unable provide a response for one of the metrics, we still invite you to participate in the program. However, you will not be eligible for the Leadership Index or the award. All data that is submitted is treated as confidential and held to the terms of our non-disclosure agreement.

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Still Have Questions?

Contact the Top Companies team to submit a specific question or to request a change to your contacts.

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