Almost half of women working in technology will quit the industry before aged 35, according to a new report from Microsoft recruiter Nigel Frank International (NFI). 

Retaining women employees has continually been a sticking point for the technology industry across all geographies. 

However, NFI’s report showed that around 80% of male technology workers surveyed believed that their female counterparts were receiving equitable treatment. 

“Our survey encompassed more than a thousand men currently working as tech professionals and I have to say, the results are startling” said NFI CEO and chairman James Lloyd-Townshend.

“I’d love to know what percentage of the men who feel there’s no gender inequality in their organisation have reached that conclusion through actual conversations with the women in their workplace,” he said, adding: “It’s common for those who don’t experience inequality to ignore or deny its prevalence. What we need is more engagement, observation, listening – and ultimately allyship, from men in tech.”

Addressing this allyship in the workplace, Lloyd-Townshend recommends that men support their female colleagues in new projects or leadership roles. 

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While men can easily support their other male colleagues, Lloyd-Townshend reminds them to keep that same level of energy and openness towards their female colleagues as well. 

Honest and compassionate feedback was also named an invaluable key factor in retaining women in tech. 

Men in tech should work to create forums of discussion that supports their female colleagues, but they should also be able to listen to feedback on their behaviour or work from female colleagues. 

The NFI explained that there is no substitute for listening to people’s lived experiences. While men in tech may not experience sexism first-hand, listening to their female colleagues’ experiences can help them understand what their counterparts face in their daily lives. 

A previous study from August 2023 suggested that confidence was the greatest barrier facing women wanting to enter the technology industry. 

Creating a work environment where women can speak up and feel listened to can help them address everyday sexism and issues in confidence.