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More Than One-Third of Women in Tech Are Looking to Leave Their Jobs Within Two Years — Here’s Why

The tech industry benefits from the diverse perspectives of different genders, but unfortunately, few women join this part of the workforce. Most who do don’t stay long term, and many report dissatisfaction with the industry. Here’s why so many women are leaving the tech industry and what companies can do to retain them.
More Than One-Third of Women in Tech Are Looking to Leave Their Jobs Within Two Years — Here’s Why -

Why Women Are Leaving Tech

As of now, women account for a very small portion of the American tech industry — less than 30%. And according to a recent report from New View Strategies, 38% of working women are considering leaving their jobs in the tech industry within the next few years.

COVID-19 has impacted these numbers — a 2021 report from McKinsey & Co. shows that 42% of women feel burned out, compared to only 32% in 2020. A Trustpilot survey suggests that 43% of women in tech are working longer hours now than before the pandemic.

In addition, the devaluation of domestic work means that women tend to carry many household responsibilities without pay or recognition. Other pressures specific to the tech industry include a lack of female mentors and role models and difficulty advancing into higher positions.

The first problem is self-perpetuating — if women leave the industry because there are no female role models, there will be no female role models for future generations. Unfortunately, many women steer clear of tech from an early age, partly because of cultural stereotypes like “boys are better at math.”

Early stereotypes affect adults as well as children. Although nearly as many women as men are applying for leadership roles in tech, only 28% of these positions are filled by females. This may make women in tech feel they have to work harder than male colleagues to prove their competence.

How Women Benefit Tech

Regardless of why women aren’t joining the tech industry, studies show they’re vital to its future.

For one thing, the industry is growing rapidly as new technology is developed and businesses see an increased need for protection from clever cyberattacks — currently, 42% of cyber professionals say their company ignores a significant number of threats because they can’t keep up with the volume. Without women in tech, there may be a talent deficit that hinders industry growth.

Women also think differently than men, and their insights and approach to tech are needed for innovation and advancement in the industry. Research suggests that gender diversity improves the overall intelligence of teams, leading to better decisions and financial success for companies.

Interestingly, the impact of gender diversity on a company’s success seems to correlate with social and cultural views on women in the workforce. Cultures that don’t see a benefit from diverse workplaces don’t seem to benefit from them as much as those that value them.

These findings demonstrate how social norms can influence the success of women in the workplace. When diversity isn’t appreciated, women may struggle to engage in their industry with confidence, diminishing the value they can bring.

What Tech Can Do to Retain Women

If tech companies want to retain women and the value they bring to the workforce, they need to change. Below are several suggestions, drawn from research, that could get more women into the tech industry and help keep them there:

  • Demonstrate how the technology industry is impacting others
  • Develop mentorship programs with female tech leaders
  • Ensure promotions are unbiased by gender
  • Require respect toward all genders within the workplace
  • Hire more women into leadership roles
  • Provide paternity as well as maternity leave
  • Support female tech education

Pulling women into the tech industry will take time, especially since reshaping societal norms and educational culture is part of the battle. However, every step a tech company takes to acknowledge the value of their female workers and support them more respectfully can help.

The Technology Industry Needs to Shift

While companies can’t change the forces keeping women from the tech industry all on their own, they can help shift the narrative so they are more interested in the sector and see personal value in a technology career.

If women continue to drop out of tech, the industry will lose much-needed perspectives and the talent it needs to create its best future. Without a shift in the right direction, future generations will miss out on opportunities and advancements only made possible by talented, gender-diverse teams.


  • April Miller

    April Miller is a staff writer at ReHack Magazine with a passion for learning, the latest gadgets and all things technology. When she’s not writing about topics like cybersecurity and big data, you’ll find her curled up with a good book or exploring her local hiking trail.