A lack of diversity and issues with under-representation are widely acknowledged in the technology industry. Women make up almost 60% of the workforce in the States and only 25% work in tech, one of the most dominant and growing sectors.\nFrom the pipeline problem with a lack of women in STEM education to the pay gap in some of the world\u2019s most powerful organizations, we are now beginning to acknowledge the lack of women in technology and why that really is so detrimental to our progression.\nFor those few women who do break into the technology field, a startlingly low retention rate is evident. In the tech industry, the quit rate is more than twice as high for women as it is for men. According to Center for Talent Innovation research, just over half of SET (science, engineering, and technology) women who studied these subjects abandoned their tech training altogether when quitting. Of those who quit, 24% continue in non-SET jobs and 20% take time out of work.\nThis reluctance to stick around is evident, even at a younger age. Girls Who Code report that about 74% of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science. However, by the time they make decisions about what to study and where to start their careers, something happens and they often change their minds. But what exactly is attributing to their decision to move on? What can businesses do to support women and encourage them to fulfill their whole careers in the industry?\nUnfairness\nAccording to the Kapor Center\u2019s Tech Leavers 2017 Report: \u201cUnfairness or mistreatment within the work environment was the most frequently cited reason for leaving, irrelevant of the gender or other factors like it. Furthermore, \u2018unfair treatment' was nearly twice as likely to be cited as a factor driving turnover than being recruited away by a better opportunity.\u201d\nThe situation for women specifically is far worse as they reportedly \u201cexperience or witness\u201d significantly more unfair behavior, according to the same report. The reason for this is arguably deep routed. Women also experience more inflammatory behavior from other sources than men.\nOne in 10 women in tech reported experiencing unwanted sexual attention, according to a study. Most recently, female tech leaders have spoken out about the culture of harassment they have experienced first hand.\nCompany culture\nUSA Today reports: \u201cToxic workplaces \u2014 where harassment, stereotyping and bullying occur \u2014 are driving away women and people of color, undercutting technology companies' efforts to increase diversity and costing an estimated $16 billion a year.\u201d\nCulture can have a great deal to do with creating work environments where women are reluctant to stick around. As a historically male-dominated sector, technology breeds \u2018boys culture\u2019.\nThis can range from severe things such as allowing, or being a bystander to, an overly sexualized environment, to minor things such as post-work entertainment being centered around the interests of the male workforce.\nIf the company culture of an organization has been long-standing, making fundamental changes to the deep fabric of how its leaders think can be difficult. A hostility within a company\u2019s culture can also be unintentional but simply encouraged by long-standing traditions, habits, and approaches.\nBias, unconscious or not\nBias is a difficult thing to attempt to address within a business. A blind judgment of your colleague here, an exclusion of someone from your team there \u2013 it\u2019s easy enough to not spot these behaviors within your environment. It\u2019s even harder to police.\nGender bias is a form of discrimination and prejudice and has no place in business. It ranges from unequal pay, a difference in interview questions (asking female candidates if they are planning on having children), excluding women from responsibilities such as moving boxes or equipment, to placing glass ceilings above female employees.\nLanguage is powerful, and the way we alter how we speak with male and female workers is interesting and, potentially, damaging. Have you ever asked a female colleague who is pregnant if she is coming back to work afterwards? Now, have you ever asked a male colleague if they\u2019re coming back to work after their child is born? Although your intention is probably one of care for your colleague, you\u2019re actually inadvertently questioning her commitment to her job.\nHow to improve female retention rates\nTaking stock of how other organizations are helping to improve women\u2019s position within the tech industry is a good model to follow. Salesforce is one tech company that has a higher female representation and is considered a voice for equality as a whole.\nSalesforce even features as a case study for how to improve the workplace for women in technology. They name two core initiatives that help to create a more diverse work environment: spreading the word and being critical of your own attitudes. This really seems to boil down to companies needing to recognize the issue and keep it in the core of their business operation.\nThe Kapor Center\u2019s Tech Leavers Study similarly suggests businesses "develop and implement a diversity and inclusion strategy that starts with unequivocal leadership from the CEO and executive team, is comprehensive and implements multiple initiatives, measures the effectiveness of strategies, and allows for course-correct when needed." Over time, these measures will shift company culture to become, hopefully, more inclusive.\nThe Tech Leavers Study also highlights the importance of carrying inclusive attitudes through management processes: \u201cAudit performance management and compensation practices for potential biases and implement management training and bias-mitigating strategies.\u201d\nFinal thoughts\nHigh quit rates for women in technology really boil down to an unfinished shift in attitudes, which we\u2019re in the midst of in the tech sector.\nFrom bias to unfair treatment and culture, all these issues are turning female techies away. We still have a long way to go, not only to keep women in technology, but important to encourage women into tech and STEM as a whole, and offer them equal and fair opportunities.