August 31, 2023

The Silent Exodus: McKinsey Report Shows Black, Latina and Indigenous Women Are Leaving Tech Jobs

Black women in tech

A report by McKinsey and Co. found that representation for Black, Latina and Native American (BLNA) women in the tech workforce has shrunk over the past four years.

McKinsey and Co. surveyed over 2,000 tech employees to calculate the experiences of BLNA women.

The report is a collaborative effort by Reboot Representation and McKinsey in partnership with Pivotal Ventures.

It explores effective strategies employers can use to attract, train and advance BLNA women.

It additionally provides tools to help companies assess their current policies and practices and intentionally implement new strategies that are inclusive, accessible, and empowering for BLNA women.

What did the report find?

The report found that between 2016 and 2021, the number of computing degrees awarded to BLNA women nearly doubled.

However, BLNA women’s representation in the technical workforce is shrinking as it has dropped by more than 10% in the past four years.

Their research shows that current policies and practices aren’t helping BLNA women in technology as much as possible, leaving value on the table for employers.

Additionally, roughly 40% of BLNA women reported experiencing prejudice related to gender or race at work.

These biases in this report can impact employees’ sense of belonging and overall experience, driving them to leave their company or the technical workforce entirely.

EXHALE recently reported from a survey that almost 2 in 5 (36%) Black women have left their jobs because they felt unsafe in their identity. 

What are the solutions?

According to the report, to consolidate educational gains and build a workforce of thriving BLNA women technologists, companies need to be more intentional about ensuring that their talent strategies address employee needs.

In doing so, companies can prioritize talent efforts and get the most out of their investments.

Talent efforts could lay the foundation for a more supportive workplace that helps all employees thrive, especially those facing barriers in the tech workplace.

The report identified nine practices and policies that BLNA women said had the most impact on their ability to join their company, stay there or advance within it.

They included sharing salary ranges so people know what they can expect, maintaining an accessible internal jobs board so people can understand opportunities across the organization and offering expanded mental health benefits such as personal leave.

75% of BLNA women who work at organizations that offer all nine practices said they were more likely to stay in these jobs than BLNA women at companies that didn’t provide all nine.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.