Tech Leavers Study

Tech Leavers Study

In the tech sector, unfair treatment is the most common factor in employee turnover, costing the industry $16 billion a year in replacement costs, a report from the Kapor Center for Social Impact and the Ford Foundation finds. Based on a survey of people who have left a job in a tech-related industry in the last three years, the report, Tech Leavers Study: A First-of-Its-Kind Analysis of Why People Voluntarily Left Jobs in Tech (27 pages, PDF), found that 37 percent of respondents cited unfairness or mistreatment as a major reason for leaving — including 40 percent of underrepresented men of color — compared with 22 percent who cited being recruited away. While majorities of all respondents said they experienced (78 percent) or observed (85 percent) unfair treatment, women were significantly more likely than men to say that, including one in ten who reported experiencing sexual harassment. As well, nearly a quarter of underrepresented men and women of color experienced stereotyping, while nearly a third of underrepresented women of color were passed over for a promotion (more than any other group). The survey also found that LGBT employees were the most likely to be bullied (20 percent) and that the experiences most strongly related to turnover were stereotyping and bullying. To improve retention rates, the report recommends that tech companies implement a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy that starts with leadership; create inclusive cultures through core values, a code of conduct, and continuous evaluation; and develop effective and fair management processes.