“Tech Leavers” Study Cites Unfair Treatment as Major Reason for Turnover in Tech Industry

“Tech Leavers” Study Cites Unfair Treatment as Major Reason for Turnover in Tech Industry

Minami Tamaki LLP helps employees in the technology industry navigate workplace issues and ensure that their legal rights are protected.  We work to address issues of discrimination in the tech industry, including inequities in hiring and promotion, pay discrimination, pregnancy and child care discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, and sexual harassment.

Last Friday, the Kapor Center for Social Impact released its “Tech Leavers” study, a first-of-its-kind study examining why employees voluntarily left their jobs in the tech industry.  The Kapor Center is dedicated to improving diversity in the tech industry by conducting research, educating companies on best practices, and increasing access to STEM education.  Its Tech Leavers study surveyed a nationally-representative sample of U.S. adults who had left a tech job within the last three years.

The Tech Leavers study revealed that “unfair treatment is the single largest driver of turnover affecting all groups, and most acutely affects underrepresented professionals.”  Unfair treatment was the most frequently cited reason for leaving a tech job, with nearly 40% of surveyed people indicating that unfair treatment was a major factor in their decision to leave the company.  Also, 78% of employees reported experiencing unfair behavior at their prior company, while 85% reported witnessing or observing such behavior.

According to the study, women of all backgrounds experienced and observed significantly more unfairness than men.  Almost one-third of underrepresented women of color reported being passed over for promotion.  1 in 10 women surveyed reported experiencing unwanted sexual attention in their tech job.

The study also found that LGBTQ employees in tech were most likely to be bullied and experience public humiliation, at significantly higher rates than non-LGBTQ employees.

Based on the survey results, the study concluded that unfair behavior – such as harassment, bullying, and stereotyping – negatively impacts underrepresented groups and also drives talent out the door.  This exacerbates the challenges to eliminating disparities and biases in the tech industry workforce.

The Tech Leavers study estimated that unfair treatment alone will cost tech companies $16 billion per year in employee replacement costs.  Over 50% of surveyed employees said they would have likely stayed at their prior job if the company had taken steps to make the workplace culture more fair and inclusive.  The study recommended implementing comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategies, which could reduce unfair experiences at tech companies, improve workplace culture, and increase retention of diverse employees.

Minami Tamaki LLP has vast experience representing tech workers in combating unfair treatment in the workplace and helping them achieve their goals in difficult legal situations.  We recognize the importance of protecting the rights of all workers, of ensuring that the diversity of our community is reflected in the tech industry, and of holding employers accountable under our employment laws.  Such laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, and the Equal Pay Act.

The Consumer and Employee Rights Group attorneys at Minami Tamaki welcome the opportunity to discuss your workplace issues with you.  You may contact us at 415.788.9000 or via this form.