Why people across various or multiple racial and gender identities stay in their roles, job hop, or leave the tech industry

Rose Afriyie – April 12, 2023

GET Cities’ first-of-its kind research on the experiences of women, trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer technologists – particularly those who are also Black or Latina/e – aims to learn more about why technologists of multiple identities choose to stay in their jobs, move to better opportunities, or leave the industry all together.

We encourage anyone working toward equity in tech to continue to ask these questions, demand better intersectional research, and to take the steps to get closer to parity of representation and positive and fruitful experiences for all people in tech.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019
It is difficult to be a woman of color in tech. I have to be twice as good as everyone else, almost perfect in the position I am in.
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Retention rates in Chicago among marginalized technologists are as high as 93.1%

• But retention doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy where they are (only 51% reported a positive experience in tech)

Across all identities, the most frequently cited reason marginalized people stay in their roles is compensation (67.7%), followed by:

• Opportunities for advancement
•  Having a good relationship with their manager.
• 88.7% of people who stay in their roles report working well with their manager

Intersectional research is critical, as we found distinctions amongst retention, experience and preferences across different combinations of identities.

Black technologists are retained less than their white counterparts. And transgender, genderqueer and nonbinary technologists are retained less than their cisgender counterparts.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019
I get more benefit [from] being a cis woman than any of my gender non-conforming counterparts, but being Arab poses a lot more challenges – especially culturally. I also am able to experience some privilege being bisexual, because I tend to “pass” as straight, so I can selectively hide certain qualities to shield myself from criticism or consequences.
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


GET Cities Chicago Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Rose Afriyie is a writer and social impact consultant that serves as a board member and adviser to multiple social impact organizations. She advises on scale, building inclusive teams, and advancing research aligned with organizational success. She is a board member and co-founder of the YC-backed nonprofit mRelief, a majority-woman software development team with a mission to transform access to social services for the inherent dignity of all people. She started her technology career at Google in 2013 and received her MPP from University of Michigan and served under the Obama Administration in 2011 during the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Named Crain’s 40 under 40 in 2018, she was appointed to the Chicago Recovery Taskforce (RTF) where she sat on the Policy and Economic Stimulus (PES) committee to develop solutions to COVID-19. Her work has been covered in the Washington Post, Forbes and several other publications.