Unfair treatment is the No. 1 reason U.S. adults voluntarily left jobs in a technology-related industry or roles within the last three years, according to a study from The Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll. The study surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. residents.
Unfair treatment was almost twice as likely to be cited as a factor driving turnover than being recruited away by a better opportunity. This unfairness-based turnover in tech costs companies $16 billion a year.
Underrepresented men of color were most likely to leave due to unfairness, though overall women reported more unfair treatment than men.
Retention is key to product continuity, whether a tech team is working on internal or external facing products. With the war for talent reaching a fever pitch, when the perception of unfairness persists, employees won't be inclined to stay.
The good news is, strong diversity and inclusion initiatives can help companies improve retention. Experts suggest companies develop comprehensive diversity and inclusion programs, inclusive cultures and fair management processes to help prevent employees from walking out the door.
Diversity and inclusion programs not only help companies retain much-needed tech talent, they may also help companies develop better products. The importance of diverse teams cannot be underestimated, says HR managers and former presidents.
"We've seen again and again that companies with diverse leadership often outperform those that don't," President Barack Obama said during a White House Demo Day in 2015. "That's the market that is out there — not just here in the United States, but globally. So that lack of participation from everybody isn't good for business."