Mistreatment is the #1 reason people leave tech jobs according to the Tech Leavers Study a one-of-a-kind national study that looked into why people in the tech industry voluntarily left their jobs.

What the study found was that workplace culture drove turnover which had a significant impact on the retention of underrepresented groups. This turnover costs the tech industry more than $16 billion each year.

Here are just some of the key findings of the study:

  • Nearly 40% of respondents cited mistreatment or unfairness.
  • Underrepresented men were most likely to leave due to unfairness.
  • 1 in 10 women experienced unwanted sexual attention
  • LGBT employees were most likely to be bullied and/or experience public humiliation.
  • Underrepresented men and women of color experienced stereotyping at twice the rate of White and Asian men and women
  • 30% of underrepresented women of color were passed over for promotion.

We know that tech has a problem with diversity. There aren’t enough women or people of color entering the tech industry. While there may be some debate about why that is, especially in light of Google Memo posted a couple of weeks ago, we do know that the culture can be an echo chamber of old and outdated beliefs and attitudes.

The good news is, there’s a lot of room for improvement. You may not be able to hire a chief diversity officer, but you can implement these strategies to retain the diverse culture you may already have and to attract more women, people of color and lgbt people to your company.

Fix the Culture – Nearly two –thirds of tech leavers said they would have stayed if they culture had been fixed. Ask around and find out of your talent feels mistreated or feels as though they are being treated poorly or unfairly. The change in culture needs to start from the top down and it needs to be comprehensive.  According to the study diversity and inclusion should be treated as a business strategy.

Core Values – Companies need to identify a core set of values and develop a code of conduct that strives to eliminate mistreatment and unfairness. It’s not enough to identify the problems, they must also be addressed and altered. Companies must be prepared to identify and discipline people who violate the core values.

Fairness – Companies also need to willingly audit performance management and compensation practices for bias.

Tech can save billions of dollars in retention and reputation costs if they focus on building an inclusive and fair culture.

Diversity encourages growth and development of out-of-the-box thinking, you want to attract a more diverse culture if you want to succeed in business these days.

What are you doing to ensure your company is attracting women, people of color, misrepresented men and lgbt people?

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