from 716 women who left tech show that the industry’s culture is the
primary culprit, not any issues related to science education.
I knew something was up when Sandhya, a talented project manager I only knew slightly, asked me if we could have lunch.
She had recently come back from maternity leave. In her note, she said she wanted some advice from another mom.
Over lunch, she confided in me that she was thinking of quitting. It was too hard to juggle everything. Her manager had pressured her to return from leave early, and was pushing her again to take a business trip and leave her nursing infant at home. She wasn’t sleeping. She felt like she was failing her job and her child at the same time.
I assured her that her feelings were normal and that much of it would pass. I encouraged her to say no to her manager. I offered to speak to him on her behalf. Although she earned more than her husband did, she quit two weeks later.
That was four years ago, and Sandhya still hasn’t returned to the tech industry. She has no plans to. She has since had another baby. Her story has haunted me since. She came looking for support, and I felt like I failed her.
Over the last month, I have collected stories from 716 other women who have left the tech industry. Their average tenure in the industry was a little over seven years. All of them shared their single biggest reason for leaving, their current employment status, and their desire (or not) to return to tech.
FULL STORY HERE