Ethnic Minority and Gender Representation in Tech — cord

Gender and Ethnicity of all Engineers on cord

55.30% of people in Technical and Product roles are white males. 28.43% are minority (i.e., non-white) males, 8.49% are white females, and 7.78% are minority females.

This data is based on people looking for work on cord. In order to do so, Engineers are required to have experience working a technical or product role in a technology company in the UK, EU or US, with the majority being Software Engineers. This means this data is highly reliable and relevant for other people who match this criteria, as opposed to other sources that often cover the “Technology industry” as a whole. It is therefore felt that the data discussed here gives a unique insight into intersectional gender and ethnic minority representation among people working in tech and product-specific positions.

Engineers on cord by Function

Minority female representation is highest in Product & Design, at 10.13%, followed closely by Data, at 10.06%. Infrastructure (5.41%) and Development (5.77%) see the lowest levels of minority female representation. Both see little more than half as much minority female representation as Product & Design or Data.

Engineers on cord by Seniority

Minority female representation is inversely correlated with seniority.

12.80% of Entry Engineers and 9.64% of Junior Engineers are females from ethnic minority backgrounds. However, just 5.69% of Lead (managerial) and 4.04% of Leadership (senior managerial) Engineers are women from ethnic minority backgrounds.

White male representation follows the opposite trend: it is highest in Leadership (65.30%) and Lead (60.00%) Engineers, and lowest in Entry (43.40%) and Junior (50.98%) Engineers.


Note that, in this article, “message requests” counts approaches received by Engineers on cord from companies, regardless of whether or not the Engineer accepted the request. The average number of message requests received per Engineer is used as a proxy for how in-demand Engineers in any given category are.

Engineer Demand by Function

In all functions, white females are the most in-demand group. The average female Engineer working in either Development or Infrastructure receives 7.4 message requests each.

Minority males experience negative sourcing bias in all functions. In Data, they are joint-least in demand (with minority females), receiving an average of 2.2 approaches per Engineer, and are the least-approached group in all other functions.

Outside of Data, minority females are a relatively in-demand group. They are the second most-approached in Development and Product & Design, where the average minority female Engineer receives 7.1 and 3.1 message requests, respectively. In Infrastructure, minority females receive almost the same number of message requests as white males (averaging 6.6 and and 6.7 per Engineer, respectively).

Engineer Demand by Skillset

In general, though with several exceptions, females are more in-demand than males with equivalent skills. In 5 out of the 10 most popular Primary Skills on cord, minority females received the largest number of approaches, on average, per Engineer, and for four of these skills white females received the second-largest number of approaches. White females are the most in-demand group for the remaining five skills, with minority females the second-most-messaged group in three of these instances.

However, minority males are the least-messaged group for all but one primary skill (Python).

Note: primary skills are selected by Engineers who create cord profiles. Each Engineer can select more than one primary skill.

Engineer Demand by Seniority

This apparent sourcing bias against minority males persists at equivalent seniority levels too. Minority male Engineers at all levels besides Junior receive fewer message requests, on average, than other groups.

White females receive the most, or joint-most, message requests at all seniority levels. Minority females receive the second-most at Entry and Junior level, but white males receive second most (or joint-most) in every other Seniority level.

Key Insights

  • White males are the most numerous group in tech and product, making up 55.30% of the industry. Females from ethnic minority backgrounds are the smallest group at 7.78%
  • Women from ethnic minority backgrounds make up just 4.04% of Engineers in Leadership roles
  • Males from minority backgrounds tend to experience a negative sourcing bias

Data Disclaimer

Data refers to 54,082 Engineers across all locations (primarily London, Europe/Remote, and New York) on cord.

Gender is determined by one of two methods. All Engineers are given the opportunity to self-ID. Roughly one quarter of Engineers do so. The remainder have been assigned a gender (male or female) by a third-party predictive API ( based on their name. The API makes mistakes, but is accurate in 90–95% of cases. The same API is used to predict the ethnic background of all Engineers.

Messages received data refers to the lifetime message count for these engineers — i.e. the total number of message requests each engineer has received from creating their cord profile.

Originally published at



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