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Unfairness, mistreatment largest contributors to employee turnover in tech industry

May 04, 2017

Unfair treatment is the largest driver of employee turnover in the tech industry, according to a new report by authors at the Kapor Center for Social Impact with support from the Ford Foundation. In the 2017 Tech Leavers Study, the authors surveyed a national sample of 2,000 adults who in the past three years have voluntarily left a job in a technology-related industry. They find that unfairness or mistreatment in the work environment was the most frequently cited reason for leaving (37 percent), especially for professionals from underrepresented populations (e.g., women, black, Latinx, and Native American). Additional reasons for leaving a previous employer include seeking better opportunities (35 percent), dissatisfaction with the work environment (25 percent), dissatisfaction with job duties (22 percent), and being recruited away (19 percent). The authors estimate that mistreatment-based turnover in the industry costs approximately $16 billion per year. To help address this issue, the authors recommend comprehensive diversity and inclusion initiatives that include five elements: having a diversity and/or inclusion director; explicitly setting diversity goals; providing bonuses for coworkers that refer candidates from underrepresented backgrounds; conducting training on unconscious biases; and, establishing employee resource groups. 

inclusion, information technology