In 2023, layoffs have yet again cost tens of thousands of tech workers their jobs; this time, the workforce reductions have been driven by tech giants including Google, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Yahoo and Zoom. Startups, too, have announced cuts across all sectors, from crypto to enterprise SaaS.

In a recent article by Sifted, they said, women make up just over a third of the European tech workforce, but they represent 41.6% of layoffs since October 2022 (according to an analysis by Layoffs.fyi which tracks tech industry cuts).

So why is this disproportionately affecting women in the tech industry? There could be a number of factors such as the nature of the industry, the type of jobs being cut, and the policies of individual companies. However, there are several potential ways in which women may be worse affected by tech layoffs in the UK.

Firstly, women are often underrepresented in the tech industry, particularly in leadership roles. According to the diversity report by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (2020) women make up only 19% of the UK tech workforce. As a result, women may be more likely to be affected by layoffs if they work in areas where there are fewer women in the workforce, such as technical or engineering roles.

Secondly, women are more likely to work part-time or on flexible schedules than men. This may mean that they are more vulnerable to layoffs, as companies may prioritise full-time employees when deciding who to retain.

Thirdly, women may face additional challenges if they are the primary caregivers for children or elderly relatives. Tech layoffs may make it difficult for them to find suitable alternative employment that accommodates their caregiving responsibilities.

Lastly, women may be more likely to experience unconscious bias in the hiring process, which can make it harder for them to secure new jobs following a layoff.

What can you do if you are made redundant?

  1. Firstly, take care of yourself: Losing a job can be a stressful and emotional experience. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time by getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. Take time to process and reassess, even though your first reaction may be to panic!
  2. Evaluate your financial situation: Losing a job can also have financial implications. Take a look at your budget and figure out how much money you have saved and how long it will last. You may need to make adjustments to your spending to make your savings last longer. You can also look into the freelance market to see if you can offer your skills on a people per hour website or fiverr until you secure full time work.
  3. Update your CV and LinkedIn: Take some time to update your CV and LinkedIn with your most recent work experience and any new skills you’ve acquired. This will help you be prepared for any job opportunities that may come your way. There is an option on LinkedIn that you can switch on called Open to Work which may attract recruiters to contact you direct.
  4. Network: Reach out to your professional network, including former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts. Let them know that you’re looking for a new job and ask if they have any leads or can provide a reference for you. There are a number of different women in tech networks, so start there.
  5. Consider additional training or education: If you want to expand your skill set or make yourself more marketable to potential employers, consider taking additional training or education courses in your field. WeAreTechWomen has a list of companies where you can source free training. We also have our One Tech World conference, which gives you a chance to meet some of our job seeking partners, learn new skills and grow your network. WeAreTechWomen also offers free virtual tickets to our conferences and summits to those out of work, do get in touch.
  6. Be proactive in your job search: Don’t wait for job opportunities to come to you. Be proactive in your job search by applying to job postings, attending job fairs, and reaching out to recruiters. We can also help you find a new role in tech by starting your job search via our job board.
  7. Seek support: If you’re struggling emotionally or financially, seek support from friends, family, or a professional counsellor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Remember, being laid off is not a reflection of your skills or your abilities. It’s a common occurrence in the tech industry and is more likely down to an uncertain economic outlook. Keep a positive attitude, stay focused on your goals, and you’ll be on your way to finding your next great job in no time.

 

Find out more about this subject and more by buying your tickets to our One Tech World Conference 2023.