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May 04, 2017 07:44 AM EDT

The most frequently cited reason for employees in the tech industry leaving their jobs was working in an unfair environment. The Tech Leavers study was conducted by Kapor Center for Social Impact.

They investigated four main types of unfair treatment, behaviors and experiences. These are unfair people management practices, stereotyping, sexual harassment and bullying or hostility.

The Tech Leavers study aimed to learn more about how tech workplace culture and microaggressions may influence employee turnover. It is the first national study that examines why employees voluntarily left jobs in tech.

The survey was conducted on a representative sample of over 2,000 U.S. adults who left a job in the tech industry or function within the last three years. It was found that workplace culture drives turnover and affects the retention of underrepresented groups. Moreover, it costs the industry over $16 billion every year.

Nearly 40 percent of the survey respondents admitted that unfairness or mistreatment played a significant role in their decision to leave. Underrepresented men were found to have the most likelihood of leaving due to unfairness.

Moreover, the tech industry is still not friendly to women and the LGBT community. One in 10 women experienced unwanted sexual attention while LGBT employees were most likely to experience public humiliation and bullying.

Women, regardless of backgrounds, experienced or observed more unfairness than men. This unfairness was said to be more prevalent in tech companies than non-tech companies.

Underrepresented men and women of color also experienced stereotyping more than White and Asian men and women. 30 percent of underrepresented women of color revealed that they were passed over for promotion.

According to Tech Crunch, the Kapor Center recommended steps that tech companies should do to reduce unfairness at their work environments. This includes implementing comprehensive strategies around diversity and inclusion, creating an inclusive culture by developing a code of conduct, conducting employee surveys, providing transparency as well as developing a stable system for compensation practices and employee review processes.

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