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Austin ranked among highest for women in the tech industry

Austin is booming in the tech industry and Austin ranks among the highest in the U.S. for women in tech.

AUSTIN, Texas — A continuation of our Boomtown 2040 coverage, we focused on Austin's tech industry.

It's no secret the tech industry here is booming, but what some may not realize is Austin ranks among the highest of U.S. cities for women in tech.

In fact, about a third of the top leaders in tech here in Austin are women.

RetailMeNot is a deal-finding website that helps find coupons. Six months ago, it got a new CEO, Marissa Tarleton. 19 years ago she came to Austin for the University of Texas at Austin's business school. Now, she's at the top of a tech giant in one of the best cities for women in tech.

Looking inside an Austin boardroom, you'll see more women than you might have ever seen before. Marissa Tarleton is a prime example.

"So it's fascinating to me to see the Austin-based companies take a leadership role in areas like D&I," said Tarlton.

D&I is short for Diversity and inclusion, something Marissa's company emphasizes.


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"It's an entrepreneurship thing, everyone feels empowered here. The startup mentality and the creation mentality is different here in a way that I have not seen," she said. "We have to really make a commitment to looking around the room and making sure the diversity is there."

It’s something employees like Jessica Ruiz feels makes the company better for not only the staff, but the customers too.

"Knowing that diversity in Tech is really important because our consumers are both male and female," said Ruiz. "Having Marissa at the helm is really important, because she brings about a lot of characteristics that I have seen before in former CEO's."

"And it also creates a much better work environment when you have equity within everyone that is there and can be equally heard," said Amber Gunst.

Gunst is another female CEO in Austin that leads the Austin Technology Council.

Gunst sees diversity throughout the city's tech companies and says the top level, or C-Suite, positions in Austin are about 30 percent women.

"I mean every business can benefit from having men and women in leadership, because when you have that equal point of view and you have that equality in those leadership roles you're seeing things that other companies who don't have that are not seeing," said Gunst,

But at 30 percent both Gunst and Tarleton see room for improvement, with 50-50 being the ultimate goal.

"Well it has to because if it doesn't continue to grow then were shrinking and that's not a good thing for anybody," said Gunst.

"While I'm being optimistic here, I still think there's still tons of room for companies to open their eyes to the opportunity to actually recruiting to balance the gender gap in tech and in Austin," said Tarleton.

So just like her company, Tarleton says the tech industry still needs more D&I.

"It's nice to see Austin leading the pack,” she said. "But there's a lot of companies still not necessarily paying enough attention to who's driving the decision making, and making sure there's diversity of prospective."

Which will allow you to see more women at the top of tech in Austin.


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