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It’s an important question to ask: Why aren’t more women making their living in IT and technology? NPR, in its All Tech Considered blog, recently had a look at the issue. And the news station found some troubling numbers all pointing to the same thing: Women still aren’t entering the tech fields in high-enough numbers.

The numbers

In making its case, NPR cited a study from the National Center for Women and Information Technology that says that women constitute just 6 percent of the chief executives at the top 100 technology companies. NPR also points to a New York Times story determining that only 8 percent of venture-backed tech startups are founded by women.

Not getting better?

The future doesn’t look any better when it comes to women in technology. According to the NPR story, there’s also a lack of women gravitating to high-school and elementary-school technology and science. The numbers are clear. What isn’t apparent is why women are shunning the world of tech.

Always merit-based?

NPR claims that defenders of technology say that those who succeed are those who work the hardest and generate the best ideas. But NPR argues that there’s more to success in the tech field than this suggests. Among the most successful tech entrepreneurs — the vast majority of which are men — received significant financial help from other males. So merit isn’t the only reason why people rise in the tech field. This is a little something for small business owners to make note of. It may be time for them to start hiring more women to staff their IT departments.