The tech industry continues to be plagued by layoffs, from startups to Fortune 100 companies.
These job cuts are affecting tens of thousands of workers, however, recent data shows women are being laid off at higher rates than their counterparts. While this imbalance isn’t new, recent trends caused by the pandemic are exacerbating this discrepancy.
As of April 2023, social networking giant Meta has laid off 21,000 workers, while Alphabet has cut 12,000 jobs this year. In addition, many automotive technology companies have also significantly tightened their workforce recently.
Data shows this wave of layoffs is hitting women especially hard. Women are 65% more likely to be laid off than men in the tech sector, according to recent analysis by Eightfold AI.
According to FastCompany, the most recent round of job cuts was made up of about 45% women — however, women make up just 26% of the tech workforce, meaning the distribution of layoffs was significantly skewed.
The Pandemic Effect
This discrepancy is partially caused by traditional factors — women tend to hold more roles in departments such as human resources and recruiting, which are typically the first to be gutted when companies hit tough times.
Simultaneously, this most recent downturn comes as women are re-entering the workforce at a rapid pace.
While more women left the workforce at the beginning of the pandemic for reasons such as childcare, the combination of the world opening back up while flexible work conditions remained led to a much faster recovery in the college-educated female workforce than male, according to data analysis from The Washington Post.
When deciding which roles to cut, many companies follow a “last in, first out” policy, where the most recent hires tend to be the first laid off. Thus, as more women rejoin the workforce at a faster rate, they’re also more vulnerable to the growing trend of layoffs.
Laid Off? Here’s What You Can Do
However, it’s not all bad news. According to a recent ZipRecruiter survey, nearly 80% of recently laid off tech workers found a new job within three months.
If you’ve been laid off, the most important thing to remember is that it does not reflect your work, but the result of wider issues at your company. The best way to plan your next move is with a positive mentality, says career coach and HR executive Marlo Lyons.
Before you begin applying to new jobs, be sure to document your past accomplishments and what you want in your next role. Take the time to ensure your resume and application materials reflect these qualities.
The key to finding the right job, according to Lyons, is keeping the job search focused, rather than casting your net far and wide.
While the current economic climate remains turbulent, women can still remain in control of their careers, and continue to close the persisting gaps in the tech industry.
Women in Autonomy panelist Bonnie Datta is passionate about disruptive technologies. As Founder of Plug to Grid Strategies, an advisory firm with a mission of decarbonization with a focus on the autonomous, electrified, and connected transport ecosystem, Bonnie is an expert on transport electrification and grid modernization. She is also the co-founder of a charging infrastructure start-up currently in stealth. Prior to our upcoming virtual panel, From Ambition to Reality: The Path Toward a Carbon Free Future, we sat down with Bonnie to get a sneak peek on the issues that will be discussed, from infrastructure and regulatory, to materials and scalability - as we push toward an electric future.
WIA: What is the single biggest challenge to widespread EV adoption?
BD: Reliability and availability of public charging is the single biggest hurdle we face today for EV adoption beyond the early-adopter segment. The number of chargers installed is a misleading statistic – the right data would be how many functional chargers are available at any point of time for drivers. A recent study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley found that almost 25% of public chargers in the San Francisco Bay Area were non-functional, and a recent New York Times article revealed that reliability of a leading charging provider was at only 61%.
How many times have you gone to a gas station for your ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle and found that the pump was not working? While there is regulatory work underway to ensure a 97% uptime assurance from EV service providers, how the regulation will be enforced – especially for chargers that are being publicly funded – is the multi-billion dollar question.
The average miles driven daily for light-duty vehicles is around 40 miles. Today, most EVs come with a 200+ mile range, with approximately 80% of charging taking place at long dwell sites, such as at home or places of work. However, reliability of public charging is a psychological barrier that is critical for widespread adoption, as well to provide the peace of mind required for those occasional long-distance drives.
WIA: What needs to happen in 2023 to advance electrification?
BD: I believe that the key to ICE-EV driver conversion is:
In terms of fleet adoption, we require:
WIA: Is the future fully electric?
BD: As a powered-by-electrons advocate, I would like to say yes – however, there are certain use cases where other zero-emission fuels may be appropriate, such as long-haul aircrafts.
Join Bonnie and the rest of our expert panel as they discuss the issues and opportunities of EVs and electrification during the upcoming Women in Autonomy virtual panel From Ambition to Reality: The Path Toward a Carbon Free Future on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023 at 9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET.
Learn more and register here.
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