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Retention Management And Metrics

Employee Turnover And Retention Briefings Abstract: 67

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Study: Why Women Leave IT [University of Oklahoma] Friday 03/11/05 3:04 PM

Women are leaving the Information Technology(IT) field. Women represent 46.6% of the US workforce. In 1996 women represented 41% of the IT workforce. In 2002 the ratio dropped to 35%.

The study found that work family balance was a significant issue specifically for women in IT. Stress is the main culprit and it is caused by two conflicting sets of issues that interact negatively with each other.

Family scheduling:
  • Family obligations require flexible work schedules.

  • Flexible work schedules require constant scheduling and negotiation.

  • Changing work schedules impact upon family obligations.

The nature of the IT industry:
  • The IT industry requires constant re-learning and upgrading of skillsets.

  • The IT industry rewards the most challenging assignments.

  • Both continuing education and aggressive assignments demand extra time commitments that impact upon each other and upon family obligations.

One workplace change that tends to alleviate these issues is instituting a formal flextime policy. When there is a formal policy as opposed to an adhoc or continual renegotiation, the female worker feels more in control of the situation.

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