Woah, weren’t we all talking about The Great Resignation just a moment ago? Don’t tech workers have the upper hand in the job market right now?!

While demand is still high for skilled tech workers, 2022 has seen a huge spike in the number of lay-offs across the tech industry. In April and May, the number of tech-based companies laying off workers more than doubled. It’s remained high all year, with November seeing things escalate even more.

So why is it happening, what does it mean for people working in tech and what is Girls in Tech doing about it?

From now until the end of March 2023, Girls in Tech is offering companies free unlimited job listings, whatever subscription level they choose in the Jobs Board. This is our way of encouraging companies to advertise exciting vacancies to our community, so women can find more opportunities and land their next tech job more easily

Companies can use the code GITTECH22 to access unlimited job listings until 31 March, 2022.

What’s happening in the current tech job market? Why are so many companies laying people off?

The cause of the job market shift is multifaceted.

Rising inflation and interest rates is forcing tech companies to cut costs where possible. A revenue drop has caused some companies to cut their workforce. For example, Alphabet, Meta and Twitter have all reported a decrease in ad spend across their platforms. Some companies are making job cuts as they’re planning budgets for the next year.

 J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at market research company Forrester, says “there is a bit of group-think in Silicon Valley”. He believes some tech companies are making job cuts purely because they’re following what their peers are doing in the industry. Many tech businesses grew rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have grown too large, too quickly over that time. Mark Zuckerburg admitted that this is what led to the company to cut 11,000 jobs.

Why are the 2022 tech layoffs so concerning?

Many tech companies actually grew and profited during the pandemic, benefitting from the need for digital infrastructure and people being glued to their devices at home. The fact that tech growth is slowing indicates that fears of an economic downturn are warranted. Uncertain times are reducing investor risk tolerance, making it harder for startups to access much-needed funding. This will no doubt slow down the advancement of many tech solutions which could benefit society and individuals.

The timing of the spike in lay-offs is concerning too. Forrester vice president J.P. Gownder has noted that the timing of the latest tech layoffs could be troublesome as well, saying “the best talent don’t want to work for the companies that kind of indiscriminately and without any empathy lay people off at the first sign of trouble”. Letting people go just before the holidays could be damaging for company morale and affect future hiring.

Who is affected by tech industry job losses?

It would seem that no tech company is ‘lay-off safe’ right now. Startups are struggling to access funding, while tech giants are being hit by a drop in revenue. Crunchbase lists notable 2022 US tech layoffs, and Layoffs.fyi also has a complete list with extensive data about eh layoffs.

Some of the most notable companies who’ve recently laid off workers include:

Meta – which has announced plans to lay off 11,000 staff, or 13% of its global workforce.
Salesforce – has announced over 1,000 lay-offs.
Twitter – over 3,700 staff members have lost their jobs, almost half of the company’s entire workforce.
Stripe – 1,120 employees, or 14% of the company’s workforce, have been laid off.
Lyft – after letting go of 60 workers in July this year, a second round of lay-offs has been announced for November, with 700 staff members or 13% being cut.

(These numbers are taken from a Forbes article.)

What can be done to improve job security for women in tech?

In an industry already dominated by men, this season of layoffs can be particularly stressful for women.

One contributor to a recent forum said this:

“You need to make yourself layoff safe. Get some seniority and work hard to make yourself irreplaceable.”

But we know that women find it harder to access promotions and work their way into leadership positions in the tech industry. Especially for those women navigating motherhood and starting a family in the peak of their careers, ‘making yourself irreplaceable’ may seem challenging.

At Girls in Tech, our reason for existing is to eradicate the gender gap in tech. We want to see a day where it’s just as easy for a woman to assert her value in the workplace as it is for a man. Our programs and events are designed to upskill and empower women in the tech workforce, and we feel it’s our duty to respond to these tech layoffs with even greater support for females in technology who’ve been laid off.

Here are some resources and suggestions we have for you if you’ve been made redundant or are fearful of it happening to you.

Tips for female tech workers facing layoffs

Educate yourself on the current tech climate – Learn about what’s going on with tech lay-offs in the US and why it’s happening. Here are some good places to start:

-Everything you need to know about tech lay-offs and hiring slowdowns
-What the wave of tech lay-offs tell us about the economy
-Why tech layoffs are happening all at once — and why the next few weeks could be the worst of them
-Layoff Watch: Tech firms have cut more than 100,000 jobs – and more are coming

Learn how to set yourself apart – The latest Girls in Tech Academy course, How to Land Your Next Job in Tech, will teach you exactly how! It’ll show you how to create a compelling story about yourself, learn how to articulate and frame it to recruiters and interviewers, and effectively negotiate to create your ideal tech job.

Capture your achievements, successes, and positive references – Take time to note down key achievements and successes you’ve been a part of in your current or previous role. You can also reach out to coworkers and advocates to gather references about your work there. This will help you when looking for your next role, and give your confidence a nice boost in the process.

Lean into your technical and transferable skills – In the absence of a fancy title or senior role, learn how to highlight and speak about your technical skills and your soft skills. Both will be important to define in any future work application processes.

Know where to go for job opportunities – Connecting with people in your immediate network can pay off when you’re looking for your next opportunity. Failing that, look to the Girls in Tech Jobs Board. Leading tech companies specifically looking for female talent publish job listings here, and it’s a great place to find your next opportunity.

We want to see laid off women get back on their feet ASAP. So, let’s flood the Jobs Board with exciting, accessible job opportunities suitable for women in technology, and get everyone back in work!