Twitter chat: What’s behind the tech industry’s gender gap?

As of 2013, women held 57 percent of jobs in the U.S. workforce, however, they held only 26 percent of computing jobs. And they are leaving those jobs at a rate of 56 percent, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

What is the reason for the tech industry’s gender gap? PBS NewsHour recently reported on a California lawsuit, in which a former female employee is suing Kleiner Perkins, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm that invests in many tech companies. Her complaints of discrimination and harassment mirror the notion that the industry often creates a hostile work environment for women, denying promotions to qualified candidates and ultimately forcing female employees out.

Many also argue that women pursuing careers in the technology industry are few and far between. NCWIT reports that women accounted for 57 percent of undergraduate degree recipients in 2012, but only 18 percent of degrees in computer and information sciences. Is lack of diversity in the tech industry due partly to a dearth of qualified candidates?

We held a Twitter chat on the causes of and possible solutions to the gender gap in the technology industry. Nicole Sanchez (@nmsanchez), CEO of Vaya Consulting, a Silicon Valley firm that helps companies recruit and retain diverse employees, shared her thoughts. The National Center for Women & Information Technology (@NCWIT) also weighed in. Read a transcript of the discussion below.