Top Companies uses a three-dimensional methodology to gain insight into how women are participating in the technical workforce. All organizations submit data about representation and programs and policies. The workplace experiences survey is in its second pilot year, and currently participation is optional.

A diagram shows the three dimensions Top Companies measures: representation, programs and policies, and workplace experience


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 is the sum of the Z-scores for each metric.

The total scores are used to determine the winners in each technical workforce size category (under 1,000, 1,000 to 10,000, and over 10,000 technical employees) and the top five scoring companies in each category.

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
  • Leadership development programs
  • Career Sponsorship
  • Training and education on the value of gender diversity
  • Dual Career Ladders
  • Board Diversity

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

Workplace Experiences

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 in three categories, based on the size of their technical workforce: under 1,000, 1,000 to 10,000, and over 10,000.

The top five companies in each size category will be recognized alphabetically this September. The company with the highest score in each category is recognized as a Top Companies Winner and will be announced at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Houston, TX on September 26, 2018.

All participants are acknowledged for their commitment to measure their technical workforce and gain a deeper understanding of women in their company.

In 2018, 80 companies participated in the program, representing over 150,000 women technologists. Read more about workforce trends in our Insights Report.

Representation by career level: 29.5% Entry, 23.6% Mid, 18.0% Senior, 18.5% Exec