The study found 20 per cent of LGBT+ employees in the tech industry had experienced workplace bullying.
Michaela Morgan

2 May 2017 - 11:29 AM  UPDATED 2 May 2017 - 11:29 AM

A first-of-its-kind analysis has revealed why Americans in the tech industry have voluntarily left their jobs—with LGBT+ responders citing bullying as the main reason.

The Tech Leavers Study conducted by the Kapor Center for Social Impact surveyed just over 2,000 adults in the United States who had left a job in the tech industry in the last three years.

The study found that 20 per cent of LGBT+ employees had experienced bullying in the workplace—compared to 13 per cent of non-LGBT employees. 

“Bullying and hostility affected all groups, which suggests these behaviours are more indicative of a toxic workplace culture, but LGBTQ employees were affected most acutely,” the report says.

Homophobia is harmful to workers and businesses
"Homophobia is costly to individuals, businesses and the community."

Nearly two-thirds of LGBT+ responders who were bullied in the workplace said the experience contributed to their decision to leave.

One LGBTQ developer who took part in the survey wrote about her experience of bullying in a tech industry job. 

“I was told I was 'too sensitive.' I was told that other black and lesbian folks in the office didn't feel as I did, after mentioning homophobic and racist jokes being spewed in work-only chat channels.

“I left my employer because I was being treated unfairly as a black woman and human being.”

The man who coined the term ‘homophobia’ has passed away
"The word conveyed that gay people were not the ones suffering from an emotional problem; their oppressors were," he said.

The study has suggested that diversity and inclusion initiatives could help to reduce the turnover rate in the tech industry—if done well.

“When diversity and inclusion initiatives are in place, unfair experiences are significantly lower, and employees are significantly less likely to leave due to feeling mistreated," the report reads. 

"Having a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy in place has a much greater impact than having single efforts/initiatives."

You can view the entire Tech Leavers study here