Infographic: Why women leave tech careers, and what to do about it

Women leave tech careers more often than other careers, but there’s much leaders can do to keep women on board.

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In tech, there’s much talk of what we can do to recruit more women. But we rarely talk about that even bigger problem: Once we recruit women into tech roles, they’re more likely to leave the career than men. The good news is, leaders can do a lot to change that.


How leaders can help more women (and men) stay engaged at work

When it comes to retaining more women, the changes you make will likely benefit all staff. Work on these six areas to help keep everyone in your team engaged.

1.    Get better at onboarding

Karen Holtzblatt of WITOps says, “50 percent of women are not clear about what to do to be successful. All new hires need to develop strong connections and knowledge and skill to succeed. Use our Team Onboarding Checklist to onboard right.”

2.    Encourage valuing and belonging

“Women need to feel belonging and value in their team,” says Karen Holtzblatt. WITOps have engaging, practical activities to foster more supportive workplace behaviors.

3.    Use tools to reduce bias

“Map the full employee experience and identify where bias influences career paths. Use tools and processes that mitigate human and automated biases,” says Dr. Patricia Gestoso, BIOVIA’s Head of Scientific Customer Support in Kaspersky’s Women in Tech report 2021.

4.    Be all about mentoring

Mentoring helps more women rise through the ranks, says global tech leader Margaret Dawson. Leaders should take opportunities to mentor and encourage team members to get a mentor.

5.   Take breaks and switch off

‘Always on’ work culture is bad for productivity and health, and affects women more because they’re more likely to have care responsibilities. Lead by example: Take regular breaks, switch off after hours and encourage all in your team to do the same.

6.    Identify and challenge ways your business centers men

Are employee benefits male-coded, like tickets to sporting events? Is competitiveness overly encouraged? Do after-work drinks loom large? Review benefits and offer what more women need, like flexible work and good parental leave.

Infographic references

1 Accenture Resetting Tech Culture report 2021
2 Accenture Resetting Tech Culture report 2021
3 Pew Research
4 New study reveals key to the gender gap in C-suite
5 Karen Holtzblatt, WITOps
6 Kaspersky Women in Tech report 2020-21
7 WITOps onboarding research
8 WITOps onboarding checklist
9 Fostering more supportive behaviors
10 Kaspersky Women in Tech report 2020-21
11 Mentoring is hard but rewarding, and it’s everyone’s job
12 ACCA Global: The always-on culture is bad for productivity and health

Women in tech: Our research

Kaspersky spoke to women in tech worldwide to find out how they feel, what’s changed and what’s next.

About authors

Suraya Casey is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based in New Zealand. Her interests include cybersecurity, technology, climate, transport, healthcare and accessibility.