The Top 10 Reasons Women Leave the Tech IndustrySep 09, 2022
According to a report published by New View Strategies, it was found that 38% of working women are thinking of leaving their job in the tech sector in the coming years. This is alarming news for organisations as they are required to reduce the gender gap.
Whether you are a business owner or manage a team of hard-working women, it is crucial that you know why women in tech are leaving their jobs and how you can retain them. To help point you in the right direction. We have prepared the ultimate post just for you. So, what are you waiting for? Let's dive right in.
1. Lack of Career Growth
One of the major reasons why women in tech are leaving their jobs is because there is a lack of career growth opportunities. In fact, as much as 28% of women are uncertain about their career trajectory. The fact is that every individual has a need to know where their career is headed. If organisations fail to provide a roadmap, they will end up losing top female talent. Career growth is something that just about everyone expects from their employer. Therefore, you have to provide guidance to female tech employees and mentor them. It would encourage them to give it their all at work and would encourage them to stay. According to The Empowering Guide for Women in Tech in 2022, women are not only more effective leaders than men, but businesses with higher diversity levels also see greater average profits.
2. Senior Leadership Path
Only 53% of female tech employees feel that they can make it to senior leadership when competing for the same role with their male coworkers. The fact that there are not many female leaders does not help either. Women want and deserve to be at the top table instead of just taking orders from their male counterparts. When women in tech feel that they cannot land a senior leadership role, many of them end up switching to a different organisation or leaving the tech sector altogether. It would serve organisations well if they developed programs that supported more female employees to take the front seat.
3. Poor Wages
Women in tech cite poor wages to be a major reason why they leave. Around 46% of female tech workers feel that they are paid less than their male counterparts. The gender pay gap is real and very much present in the tech sector. This discourages women from pursuing their roles. Hence, many of them decide to switch careers despite having worked so hard to get where they are.
Poor wages should never be paid to tech workers as their skills are highly sought-after. It is also worth mentioning that only 53% of women in tech actually feel comfortable asking for a raise. This is why organisations need to step up their game and find out whether their female employees are underpaid. If that is the case, it is necessary that you increase their wages to ensure that they are paid fairly for their hard work. There should not be a gender pay gap in the 21st century as it signals that the organisation is backward and has an outdated approach when it comes to wages.
4. Ambiguous Policies
In addition to the above, close to 40% of female tech workers claim that the organisations they work for are not transparent about their policies. There is a need for organisations to be more transparent about salary and growth. Otherwise, women in tech would simply leave their jobs in droves.
Being open about the policies and ensuring that the policies are self-explanatory would work wonders. Apart from this, businesses should take the matter into their hands and post accurate job descriptions online along with the salaries to ensure that there is no misunderstanding. Also, it is a good idea to have a discussion about compensation with women in tech to learn more about their needs. It would make them feel more comfortable and ensure that they do not leave the organisation. Besides, well-defined policies would also help prevent the possibility of legal disputes later down the road.
5. Lack of Internal Mobility
With 61% of female tech workers wanting to switch to a different role in the same organisation, it is clear what women in tech want. A lack of internal mobility opportunities can discourage female employees from working for their employers. Therefore, organisations need to create a framework for female mobility. Also, such opportunities need to be publicized, so that female workers are able to take advantage of them and not fall behind. Besides, it is easy for employees to feel trapped in a role. What you need to do is provide them with the support needed to grow and succeed in their careers. Female tech employees should be considered for interdepartmental roles. It would encourage them to excel in their role and prove their worth.
6. Work-Life Balance
Having a flexible work schedule is also incredibly important for women. If organisations fail to accommodate different lifestyles, it makes it difficult for female employees to continue working. There need to be policies and assistance to ensure that women are not left behind due to their gender. For instance, organisations still have a long way to go when it comes to offering decent maternity leave. It is not easy being a woman, and businesses fail to accommodate female employees. This leads to many of them quitting or switching roles for good. Moreover, women with children should be provided with some form of help to ensure that they do not burn out. After the coronavirus pandemic, most employees require organisations to provide the option to work remotely.
7. Promotion Bias
There is an overall promotion bias that is very much evident in the tech industry. Women developers who hope to get promoted into a better-paying role are less likely to be promoted. The reason behind this is that 72 women are promoted for every 100 men, which is simply unfair. There are various problems that cause promotion bias, and they need to be addressed. The truth is that men are more likely to succeed and be better represented in a non-inclusive workplace. Women should not be denied the opportunity to get promoted just because of their gender. The culture of exclusion needs to be eliminated.
8. Fear of Failure
Another reason behind women leaving tech is a fear of failure. Unlike boys, who are raised to be brave and told to face their fears head-on, girls are expected to be perfect. This places a great deal of pressure on women and prevents them from taking risks. In fact, many female tech workers struggle with self-promotion and do not know how to speak up for themselves.
The fear of failure plays out in the workplace in one way or another. It is due to this reason that organisations need to ensure that their female employees are encouraged to take risks and face challenges. The lack of confidence in women has only been further cemented by employers who fail to take a chance on them.
9. The Culture
The tech culture still needs many improvements. It is a common misconception that women find maths or science related disciplines to be hard. Instead, it is the organisational culture that prevents them from embracing their full potential. The culture in tech fails to provide female workers with enough space to succeed. On the other hand, men are given the opportunity to take on more tasks without having to fear getting judged if they fail. The culture has only been reinforced and has to be evaluated. Tech companies must be innovative and look for new ways to solve the problem. It takes a long time for culture to develop, which is why there is a need to advocate for inclusion on behalf of women in tech over the long term. The allocation of tasks should be changed to ensure that female employees take on more responsibilities and feel empowered.
10. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace is still common. It has led to many women funding their own startups. In fact, a survey conducted by Women Who Tech found that 41% of female founders had experienced some form of sexual harassment by potential investors. Organisations have to take sexual harassment very seriously and develop a strict policy to ensure that harassment is eliminated. Moreover, female employees should be welcome to step forward and let the organisation know if they have been a victim of sexual harassment. It would help set the right tone and prevent further complications. Besides, many tech firms have made their way to court due to female employees experiencing sexual harassment.
From a lack of career growth opportunities to sexual harassment, organisations need to make sure that they address each issue in order to retain top female talent. Otherwise, they would end up losing valuable talent. With competition for tech talent at an all-time high, despite the many layoffs, it is crucial that you accommodate female tech workers and empower them to achieve all their goals.
BIO: Charlotte, a leading female figure in STEM is a world traveler and an expert in helping companies adopt the latest industrial digital technologies. She earned her Master’s in International Business and has more than a decade of experience working with real-world organisations. Through her keynote presentations and workshops, she now supports organisations in building confident, high-performing female STEM talent through her signatue masterclass.
Before taking on consulting privately, She worked with leading providers of digital transformation services during her time with Microsoft / Accenture. She has worked with many industry-leading companies to leverage technology & create operational efficiencies, drive more revenue, and build the teams required to meet the exact needs of their customer.
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