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Here’s the Single Biggest Reason Tech Workers Quit Their Jobs

You’ve heard the horror stories of toxic bro culture that demeans workers at tech firms, and now a study is trying to quantify just how many employees quit their jobs due to mistreatment.

The results are stunning, in a dreary way. The survey, conducted by the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll, included 2,000 workers who left their tech jobs over the last three years, and of them, 37% reported leaving due to unfairness or mistreatment.

In fact, mistreatment was the single largest reason for leaving a company. In contrast, only 22% said they quit their jobs because they were recruited away by a better opportunity.

The forms of mistreatment vary, including discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and unfair people management.

Interestingly, the survey shows the culture not only demeans women and people of color, but white men report experiencing high levels of bullying, public humiliation, and rudeness as well.

Underrepresented men of color, such as black, Latino, and Native American workers, were the most likely to leave due to unfairness. Of those who participated in the survey, 40% said they left due to mistreatment.

As for white men and Asian men — the groups who dominate the tech workforce — about 38% reported leaving their jobs due to mistreatment.

Overall, women of all backgrounds reported experiencing and observing significantly more unfair treatment than men, with one in 10 women in tech saying they experience unwanted sexual attention. About 30% of women of color said they were passed over for promotions, significantly higher than any other group.

The survey estimates that turnover due to unfair treatment alone costs tech companies $16 billion annually.