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. Since then, across all projects, we’ve conducted ~115 field interviews with women in technology jobs uncovering their experiences on the job and what helps them thrive–or not. The women were 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. This work resulted in The @Work Experience Framework described below. The factors in the Framework were then validated through a series of surveys with over 1000 respondents. The survey work resulted in 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. In Part I, we describe the @Work Experience Framework, the key factors that help women thrive (see below). Employees “thinking of leaving their job” have significantly lower scores on these factors showing their importance for retention. In Part II, we describe our tested interventions to help managers and teams improve how they work. Small changes to our practices can interrupt bias, increase individual and team success, and improve 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!”
Women in Technology Presentation
Remote Work Retention
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