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Is the online tech crowd really THAT dominated by men?

Men and womenTech is generally thought of as a male-dominated field, so it’s not surprising to see that visitors to tech blogs are predominantly male. What you might find a bit sad is just how massively the men outweigh the women.

To find out what the balance looked like, we picked out a group of popular tech blogs (and a couple of tech blog aggregators) and examined how many of their website visitors are male versus female with the help of demographics data from Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner.

The sites included in this survey are: TechCrunch, GigaOM, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, Techmeme, Slashdot, The Next Web, Slashgear, Hacker News, Venturebeat, TUAW, BGR, Daring Fireball, All Things D, and AppleInsider.

Male vs. female site visitors

We can do a lot of talking, but the easiest and clearest way to show you how the site visitors to these sites are divided is simply to… show you.

tech site visitors gender division

We were tempted to go with blue and pink for the chart, but we’d never hear the end of it. ;)

The stats are averaged for the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. These are the only countries that have demographics data in DoubleClick Ad Planner, which as we mentioned was our data source.

The results:

  • Most male-dominated sites: Techmeme, Slashdot and John Gruber’s Daring Fireball all have close to 90% male visitors. Hacker News and AppleInsider weren’t far behind.
  • Least male-dominated sites: Mashable was the least male-dominated of the sites (59%), followed by TechCrunch (66%).
  • The average for the sites in this survey is 78% male visitors, 22% female. If we look at just the United States, the average is 75% male visitors, 25% female.

Social networks tend to have a pretty even distribution between men and women overall, in many cases even being female dominated (here is a survey from 2009). This may explain why Mashable had more female visitors than any of the other sites in this survey; the site has a pretty strong focus on social media. Another reason may simply be that it’s considered a more mainstream blog.

The million-dollar question

Why do some of these sites attract so few women? It would be interesting to hear your take.

A quick note about the data source: Google bases its demographics data on a variety of data sources. There is unfortunately a certain lack of transparency regarding exactly what data sources those are and how Google estimates the amount of male versus female visitors to sites.



17 comments
Terrell
Terrell

Im with Dave..... tech stuff will be "sexless" in the future. My daughter is 3 and literally her whole life has been touch screen this/that and she can use it. It's only natural that as the evolution of technology grows(especially cell phones) the more interest ppl will show

Dave
Dave

The majority of men are a lot more interested in gadgets and computer stuff than women. Although that might change in the future, my daughter is 4 years old, she loves playing games on my phone, on the wii, the kinect and on her computer... She will be a geek like her dad :)

Monica Guzman
Monica Guzman

Would love to see a chart that breaks down staff by gender at each of these outlets. I know Mashable has many female writers. Not sure about the rest.

Cam Jackson
Cam Jackson

To the women saying the discrepancy is because the blogs are written by men, for men, can you give some examples please? What about the writing style/content comes across as 'for men', and what is more female friendly about eg. mashable. My answer to the 'million dollar question' is simply that more men have an interest in tech news, plain and simple. But I'll gladly admit I'm wrong if someone can answer my question above.

robert
robert

Sorry that's the wrong million dollar question. The right question is, "On what websites will we see the opposite results?" The answer to that tells us males, what we should develop interest in, if we want to meet more women with whom to share our interests.

Marg
Marg

I am a 60-something female who reads all of those sites and more every day. My favourites are Scobleizer, Techmeme, Hacker News and Delimiter.

Bill
Bill

You don't think that, since men are the ones who designed and built Civilizatiion, they are the ones most interested in the details about how things work?

Michael
Michael

Katherine, Clearly you've never been to any of these sites, so why bother even forming an opinion? That said, the fact that Slashdot has even 11% women is pretty shocking to me!

Judy Shapiro
Judy Shapiro

Face it - the question is not whether the tech world is male dominated - the only question is how much. As to your specific question - why do these sites attract so few women - the answer is fairly straightforward. Each of these communities focus on an space is that is inherently male dominated and the audience demo's reflect that. The exception of Mashable and even TechCrunch to a lesser degree is because they spend a fair amount of time on marketing tech. And women dominate in marketing across the board. No mystery - birds of a feather - read blogs together :) Judy Shapiro

Robert Scoble
Robert Scoble

I'm one of the only tech blogs that actually visits tech companies and based on what I see inside most tech companies is that their engineering teams and executive teams tend to be 90% male. So, the geekier and more executive the readership, I'd expect to see more heavily male (Hacker News, Techmeme, and Gruber match that well).

dmbass
dmbass

And also men and intersections of these data.

dmbass
dmbass

More research is required. What percentage of women are interested in Apple and VC news? What percentage of women read news on the internet?

Mike Rundle
Mike Rundle

Katherine: In case you have not visited any of the sites mentioned in the article, all these sites are technology sites. They write about technology. There's no naked women, no music: they generally write about the ongoings of the world's largest tech companies and the future products they might unveil.

Simon
Simon

@katherine - not sure I agree. None of the sites listed have a tendency to focus on content that specifically attracts men and not women. Can't recall *ever* seeing "assets" on Daring Fireball :) What they do have in common in an obsessive interest in their topic. Men much more so than women share this obsession, in the same way that women much more than men share an obsession with celebrity news. I'm not saying it's a good thing (in fact anyone obsessed with celebs should seek help IMHO), just that it seems to be a reality.

A Real Girl
A Real Girl

On the plus side, this means if you ARE a girl you can pretty much go right to the front of the line, if you need something from the community :D

Rita Kop
Rita Kop

Perhaps the distribution between men and women readers would change if the distribution between post contributors/authors would change from male domination to a more even distribution beween sexes.

Katherine
Katherine

Could it be because they write for other men rather than the technology buying public at large? I mean what do lads mags do? Cars, footie, techie stuff, loud music and women with "assets". Surprise surprise - I don't know many women who read those either. Quite a few companies in other sectors did very well once they woke up to the fact that women are very competent at wielding the plastic and/or influencing the purchase.