With relatively small numbers of women working in tech jobs, Facebook and LinkedIn are launching mentoring and support programs at colleges to get more women working in the industry, noting that diversity brings greater innovation in technology.

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MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook and LinkedIn want to boost dwindling numbers of women studying engineering and computer science with a collaborative initiative announced Friday that they hope will eventually fill thousands of lucrative tech jobs long dominated by men.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner said they’re launching mentoring and support programs at colleges to get more women involved in studying technology in general, but also as future employees for their companies.

Fifteen percent of Facebook’s employees working in tech jobs and 31 percent of all employees are women, according to diversity figures the company released last year.

At LinkedIn, women comprise 17 percent of its tech employees and 39 percent of employees overall.

Most Silicon Valley companies have similar demographics.

Telle Whitney, president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, which is a partner in the initiative, said diversity brings greater innovation in technology.

“Think about it,” Whitney said. “If everybody who creates a product looks the same, you know the results won’t be nearly as interesting. We want for the sake of our future to have women involved in all the projects that will change our lives.”

Sandberg launched an international conversation about the dearth of women in positions of power with her 2011 book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.”

She has pressed to bring about change through her nonprofit LeanIn.org, which will provide a platform for the support groups.

“A lot of our consumers, at least half, sometimes more, are women. We build a product that gives people a voice. We know we can’t build a product for the world unless our teams reflect the diversity of the people who use the product,” she said.

But the talent pool is shrinking: The percentage of people enrolled in undergraduate computer-science programs who are women peaked at 35 percent in 1985 and is now down to about 17 percent.

Weiner said LinkedIn needs gender equity to better serve users.

The executives would not disclose how much of a financial commitment they are making, but the investment is different in that it’s more focused on peer groups and a mentoring process already established through Lean In Circles.

They hope it will go global, with groups at public and private universities.