By Jillian Berman

The report comes as the tech industry has been grappling with the question of gender equality. A memo by a male Google engineer who claimed women weren’t suited to tech jobs because of their personalities touched off a firestorm of debate in 2017. The engineer, James Damore, sued Google on Monday for firing him, alleging that the company discriminated against him.

And the lack of women in computing fields, isn’t just a problem for women, it’s an issue for society as a whole, said Jessica Milli, a study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington, D.C. think tank. These sectors are often at the forefront of innovation and a lack of diversity can stymie that. She cited the example of the seatbelt, which when first invented by a group of men was only tested on crash dummies with male frames. That resulted in higher mortality rates when the belts went to market.

“If you only have white men sitting in the room trying to develop solutions for new products, you’re only going to get one small perspective there,” Milli said.

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