Stressed-Out IT Women Tempted to Quit, Says Survey
Stress and lack of work/life balance in the IT workplace is taking such a toll on women in the industry that 41 percent of respondents to a recent survey reported they were considering leaving their jobs.
That and other findings led the survey authors to conclude that women in IT are the "canary in the coal mine" warning that the New Economy workplace is destructive for employees--both men and women--and for organizations in the long run.
The survey of 265 members of
"You cannot live your life on burst mode. It's not sustainable," says Liz Ryan, founder of WorldWIT and
The survey found that 73 percent of respondents reported a great sense of achievement, impact, satisfaction, and opportunity for growth and creative freedom in the IT world. Further, they are willing to spend more time working if they can have flexible hours or work at home and have their success tied to performance rather than "face time" in the office.
Women were equally passionate about the downside of IT, however, with 68 percent saying that they're worried about the stress of the around-the-clock lifestyle and the lack of
The bottom line is that despite the positive aspects of their work in IT, 41 percent were considering leaving their jobs. "The reasons we got involved in the first place are still there," says Ryan, "but they're being countered by the enormous draining pace and expectations. Women are asking, 'Is it still worth it?' And that's a very big question mark."
Mary Mattis, a senior research fellow at
The survey findings, says Mattis, underscore what's been called "the stupid curve." "Fifty-five percent of your hires are women, but you lose a much larger percentage of them than men. This business case doesn't work," she says. "Turnover costs money."
The survey was conducted by Mindy L. Gewirtz and Ann Lindsey, principals in