Breaking the Cycle: Why are women in tech quitting?

The tech industry has been plagued by a persistent issue of gender imbalance. From both an attraction focus but also an equally concerning retention problem. Women in tech leave their tech careers at a higher rate than men. More than 50% of women are likely to quit their tech career before the age of 35, and 56% are likely to quit mid-career. To break the cycle, it is essential to understand the underlying factors driving high turnover rates and work on developing strategies to address them.

Here are some common factors identified through research and interviews with Women in Tech:

Lack of Opportunity

Women in tech often feel that they are not given the same opportunities for growth and advancement as their male counterparts. 22% of women listed a lack of advancement opportunities as a reason for leaving their company. Women typically don’t ask for promotion or advancement and instead rely on their work and performance. According to Mckinsey, only 86 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men.

The missing components many companies fail to make is to ensure that women and other underrepresented groups have exposure to key projects, mentorship, and visibility of company opportunities which they may overlook if needed to apply for themselves.

Pay inequality

Women in tech are often paid less than their male counterparts, even when they have similar qualifications, experience, and job roles. With women earning 87% of the average men’s salary in tech it’s no wonder why women are choosing to leave the industry.

Ways companies can look at tackling this issue head-on is to start by conducting pay reviews for all workers and ensure they match with levels of experience and responsibility. If you find differences, make the changes to align them. Actively share your company’s strategy regarding this and share your progress on your careers page.

Company culture

With only 26.7% of the tech workforce being women, it’s no surprise that many companies can struggle with male-dominated cultures. Many Women in Tech have shared they have faced discrimination, harassment, or microaggressions in the workplace which can lead to increased burnout and quitting.

72% of women in tech jobs say they have experienced “Bro Culture” in the workplace focusing on work culture is essential. Therefore, making DEI initiatives more than a box tick and part of a corporate goal that is transparent and measurable is a great starting point.

Having diversity, equality, and inclusivity (DEI) training as a key part of all employees’ training and development and focus will help to create workforces where everyone feels safe, respected and provides perspective to help companies try and avoid toxic work environments.

Flexibility is key

Creating a working environment that promotes flexibility and employee empowerment is key to attracting and keeping talented women in tech. In a recent Women in Tech survey, it was found that 63% of women place flexible working in their top 3 benefits which would attract them to a job.

Flexible and remote working for women can help for many reasons. Such as women with children being able to drop/pick up from school is easier when flexibility is a given. Another great example is for women going through menstruation or menopause it’s likely if you suffer badly at these times having flexible hours or work from home setups will be a huge support. Without this flexibility for some women this can lead to burnout or potential exit from the tech world.

Lack of female role models and mentors

When women are supported by mentors and can network in their communities and see role models like them succeeding in the tech world, they are less likely to quit.

Looking internally and ensuring that women have workplace support, promoting female role models, networking opportunities, mentors, and ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) is a great starting point to consider.

It’s important that companies in the tech industry look to address these issues to help tackle the roots of gender inequality, help close the gender pay gap, improve the retention of Women in Tech, and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. By creating this type of culture companies will create environments where women can thrive in their careers.

At Halzak we work with tech founders and leadership teams to support hiring strategies that help create diverse and inclusive work environments and teams.

If you are looking to build a diverse talent pipeline within your technology or software engineering teams and need help. Why not arrange an initial discovery call to see how Halzak could help? Contact us today

If you are a candidate looking for your next opportunity we would love to hear from you as well to share our current opportunities we are working across the tech sector in the US, Canada, and UK. Contact us today

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