What would you do if your colleagues continually shared offensive and stereotypical racial jokes? How would you respond if the same managers who continually made sexist comments also unfairly critiqued your work contributions, while you watched others being fast-tracked for promotions? Or if your co-workers questioned your legal status to work,your English skills, or your ability to do your job?
While any one of these experiences alone might not cause an employee to leave a company, we wanted to learn more about how tech workplace culture and the cumulative experiences and microaggressions might affect employee turnover. And more specifically, we wanted to know whether tech workplace culture contributes to tech’s overall dismal diversity numbers by driving underrepresented employees out of the door. To date, there have been no representative studies of tech workplace cultures or what experiences drive employees out of the door.
The Tech Leavers Study is a first-of-its-kind national study examining why people voluntarily left their jobs in tech. The Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll surveyed a representative sample of more than 2,000 U.S. adults who have left a job in a technology-related industry or function within the last three years.
What did we learn?
Workplace culture drives turnover, significantly affecting the retention of underrepresented groups, and costing the industry more than $16 billion each year.