According to a recent study, 50% of women leave their technology careers by the age of 35. So when Reddit user u/SnooBeans9402 asked women to share their reasons for quitting their tech roles, they had a lot to say. Here were some of the most interesting responses:
1."I left because the environment did not support me as a woman of color nor as a professional. I was intentionally left off of emails that were critical to doing my job, talked over in meetings, talked down to, and excluded from social events."
2."I was an electrical engineer and quit when I was 25. I loved the work, but my colleagues didn't take me seriously, and I was being dramatically underpaid. A male friend who was hired for my same job was making more money than me. When I took it to HR, they dismissed me."
3."I’m a software engineer, but I'm planning to leave and go to law school. My experience has been mostly fine, but I don’t feel like tech work is doing much to solve the very real social problems of the world. It’s an industry built on capitalist incentive structures."
4."I work in one of the top tech companies, and the money is great, but I work 12- to 14-hour days. People who work for eight hours per day are ostracized. I’m a single mom, and I have no time for anything or anyone."
5."I worked primarily with men who relentlessly commented on my hair, my body, my eating habits, my professional experience, and my hobbies. I felt like a permanent outsider."
6."I left my role in software development. I was overlooked and ignored the entire time and felt like I accomplished nothing. The job wrecked my self-esteem, and I no longer love the subject I studied in college."
7."I used to be a project manager in a tech company. I left because I didn’t like how people talked to each other. There was pride in 'calling it how I see it,' but it was actually just bullying — interrupting constantly, eye-rolling, sighing, and arm-flopping in meetings."
8."I’m in software engineering, and I think about leaving every day because it’s soul-sucking. I don’t work crazy hours, and I generally don’t experience sexism, but I want to do something more engaging and mentally rewarding."
9."It's so f-ing boring."
10."I’m on my way out because my coworkers don't understand what it’s like to be a woman in the field, balancing work and life. I have to sit up feeding the baby while on a 1 a.m. conference call. I have to take the dog to the emergency vet. I have to pick up my sick toddler from daycare. The culture needs to evolve to reflect the new workforce’s different needs."
11."I left my computer science job because I didn't enjoy doing it enough to make it my career. I liked the problem solving involved in coding, but I didn't like how stressful and competitive it was. The general culture didn't support team work."
12."I left after I was told my body/makeup/hair choices were 'too sexy' for the workplace and that I was 'lowering productivity' because the boys would always come to my desk to talk to me."
13."I did one year in a tech company as an engineer, and I hated it. The dynamics between the engineers was terrible. They spoke down to me, and I felt bullied. They also belittled people who didn’t match their post-grad education."
14."I am leaving tech to go into medicine. I'm tired of doing work that makes a rich man richer. I'm tired of it all feeling very meaningless and uninteresting. I'm tired of always being expected to be reachable."
15."I’m a lawyer in tech and thinking about leaving. I have to convince people to answer my questions and take my advice. The men in my field don’t have to work so hard to be heard and taken seriously. They don’t have to constantly prove they deserve to be there."
16."I got sexually harassed at work. My coworker tried to grab my butt, showed me his private parts, and even asked me to be his side piece. When I reported him to the company, we both got fired."
17."The last company I worked at turned out to be a very toxic environment. No matter how much skill and sweat I'd put into the work, getting a promotion was impossible."
18."I got promoted and discovered the man reporting to me made 20% more than I did, even though we had been doing the exact same job and I was now his BOSS. The company refused to match our salaries, so I quit on the spot."
19."Haven't left yet, but thinking about it. I've been treated perfectly well, but I hate office work and would love to do something in a different setting and not stare at a screen for eight hours a day."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.