In 2017, Top Companies measured representation and programs and policies.


To participate in the Top Companies program, companies provide key workforce metrics, including:

  • Representation of women at entry, mid, senior and executive levels
  • Recruitment, retention and promotion of women

Top Companies standardizes each of these metrics by calculating a Z-score, which measures the company’s deviation away from the mean divided by the standard deviation. By using this widely accepted method, our Z-scores represent where a company stands relative to the average of all participants. A company’s total score, the score used to place them on the Leadership Index, is the sum of the Z-scores for each metric.

Programs & Policies

In 2016 we began collecting company policy and program information to gain a deeper understanding of what makes a great workplace for women technologists. Based upon the insightful results we saw in 2016 and 2017, we will be asking about:

  • Parental leave
  • Flex time
  • Pay equity
  • Accountability for gender diversity
  • Sponsorship programs
  • Leadership development programs
  • Training and education on the value of gender diversity

We will analyze this data and provide benchmarking information in the company reports, but we will not score these responses for the 2017 cycle.

Workplace Experience

To fully understand what makes a workplace where technical women can thrive, we need to gain a deeper understanding of the employee experience. is continuing its partnership with Ultimate Software (formerly Kanjoya), a leader in employee experience and workplace intelligence, to give technology companies insights into key cultural drivers that foster inclusive workplaces and engaged workforces.

This survey provides new qualitative data allowing us to tap into company culture and employee perception. Building off of the learnings from our 2016 pilot, we will again be working with a select group of participating companies, asking technologists about their experiences on a variety of issues related to recruitment, retention and advancement. Results will not be included in the official score, but participating companies will receive the additional benchmark data in their final reports.


We recognize companies based on their total score. The company with the highest total score will be the Top Companies Award Winner and will receive recognition at the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Orlando, FL in October. Companies that score above the mean are recognized in the Leadership Index. Those that participate, but score below the mean, will be included as part of the Change Alliance in acknowledgment of their commitment to measure their technical workforce and gain a deeper understanding of women in their company.


Badges for Top Companies for Women Technologists 2017

In 2017, 63 companies participated in the program, representing over 574,000 technologists, and we recognized 28 companies on our Top Companies Leadership Index. The number of companies on the Leadership Index changes each year based on participants’ scores.

Entry increased to 28.5 percent, mid-career to 22.8 percent, senior to 19 percent, and executive to 15.1 percent.