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.
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