Gender Bias is the No. 1 Reason 1 in 3 Women in Tech Plan to Quit Before 2024

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Fairygodboss
April 24, 2024 at 6:29PM UTC

In the next two years, 1 in 3 women in tech plan to quit their jobs, according to a recent study from New View Strategies. The main reason? They’re facing gender bias at work.

In a study of 1,000 women working in the tech industry, 38% reported that they both witness gender bias at work and believe men are assumed to be more capable than men. 1 in 3 said they personally experience gender bias; 10% have experienced gender-based harassment over video since working from home.

This gender bias has cascading effects on the opportunities women in tech receive at work. 52% of women surveyed cited the lack of opportunities and advancement for women as the biggest challenge. Other critical challenges included a lack of role models, mentors and training resources, and a pay gap.

While these challenges illustrate the struggles women in tech face every day in the workplace, they also highlight where the tech industry can improve — and how we can start to tackle gender bias in this historically male-dominated industry.

If you’re facing gender bias at work or see gender bias happening in your workplace, here’s what to do.

1. “Call in” a guilty coworker.

When we see someone doing something wrong at work, our first instinct may be to call them out. Instead of calling out behavior and making this coworker an example at a meeting, call them “in” to educate them about their actions in a helpful, non-judgemental way. 

“When we call someone in, we acknowledge we all make mistakes,” writes Maya Hu-Chan, Leadership Expert and Executive Coach for Inc. “We help someone discover why their behavior is harmful, and how to change it. And we do it with compassion and patience.”

2. Seek out mentors or offer mentorship to someone else.

40% of women surveyed said that lack of mentorship was a main challenge they faced at work; 48% said they had no female role models. 

Asking for mentorship flat-out can make it difficult for both parties to have a meaningful, productive relationship. Diane Elizabeth, former tech entrepreneur, told Glassdoor that her future mentor told her “to draft a plan of how I would add value to her day, how I could teach her new things that I learned in my role as an intern, and how we could work together to better the department.” If you’re a mentee looking for a mentor, research potential mentors and outline how you can add value to their everyday.

If you’re in a position to mentor, establish first what you’re looking for and set expectations with yourself. Then, figure out who you’d like to mentor. Is it the junior woman you’re always giving advice to? Is there someone on your level who might have a direct report that needs mentorship?

3. Be an ally.

Being an ally at work means much more than saying you support others — it’s about holding yourself accountable and taking action. You can be an ally by:

  • “Calling in” coworkers and educating them.
  • Publicly supporting and congratulating women on their accomplishments at work.
  • Bring pay transparency to your workplace.
  • Educating yourself, especially on how gender bias affects women of different races, ages, abilities and backgrounds differently.
  • Offering support for women who may need a place to vent or express their challenges.

Gender bias at work is a large, systemic issue, one that’s not one person’s job to fix. Yet taking individual action can make a real difference in how this bias affects you and the women around you.

What’s your no. 1 way to combat gender bias at work? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers!

This article reflects the views of the author and not those of Fairygodboss.

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