The Research That Inspired Action
We used our proven research techniques to uncover patterns in behavior and attitudes in women on technology teams
In 2014, as part of teaching a course at Stanford, Karen Holtzblatt started the field research with her students that led to uncovering the workplace factors that keep women engaged. To date we’ve conducted 20 field interviews with women in their late 20’s to 50’s working as managers, engineers, user experience designers and researchers and product managers, as well as women who left their jobs. The resulting @Work Experience Framework was validated through a survey with over 1000 respondents: the @Work Experience Measure.
The field interviews took a 360-degree look at women’s lives. Women told stories of their current team, manager, corporate culture, promotions, family, teamwork, job choice, and speaking out. They recounted getting into the tech field and their influencers from home and school. They shared joy, frustration, values, and the love of creating. These stories revealed what matters to women for them to thrive in technology companies.
Retaining Women in Tech (Book)
In this book, we introduce these findings and interventions as well as our perspective of the challenges facing women in technology work. All the research and solutions are based on deep research and user-centered ideation techniques. We describe the @Work Experience Framework, the key factors that help women thrive: A dynamic valuing team, stimulating projects, the push into challenges with support, local role models, non-judgmental flexibility to manage home/work balance and personal power. These factors help companies understand what they have to pay attention to retain diverse teams: Employees “thinking of leaving their job” have significantly lower scores on these factors showing their importance for retention.
Principles of the @Work Experience Framework
A Dynamic, Valuing Team That's Up to Something Big
“I expect a culture of value and connection. Without it, I leave.”
Work That Matters and Is Right for Me
“I’m excited about my job when it’s a good match to my skills and career goals.”
The Push and Support
“Throw me into the ring with support – then I’ll be successful and advance.”
Local Role Models
“If I can’t see me living a manager’s life, I don’t aspire to it.”
Non-judgmental Flexibility for Family Commitments
“If I’m hiding or feel guilty about my family needs — I won’t stay for long.”
Unflagging Personal Power
“Without the plague of self-doubt, I can do great things!”