Burnout remains a critical topic in tech. Marked, according to Psychology Today, by the three key dimensions of chronic exhaustion, chronic cynicism, and inefficacy, it is a physical, psychological, and emotional experience that has become increasingly prevalent in recent years – as well as better understood. Tech news and culture sites alike have referred to the current widespread experience of burnout as a full-blown crisis.
Following up on an investigation into burnout amongst Salesforce professionals published last year, Mason Frank International, a Tenth Revolution Group company, has gathered new data on burnout specifically amongst women in cloud tech roles across the spectrum of ecosystems.
Have you experienced burnout in your current role in the last twelve months?
Mason Frank President, Zoë Morris, commented: “Burnout really became an undeniable major subject last year, and it continues to be something we have to address for tech workers in all industries. It is bad for any business of course with its impact on productivity, but it’s more fundamentally a question of culture, care, and wellbeing. Seeing that 46% of female tech professionals have experienced burnout in the last year should give us all cause for concern. I suspect the 7% who selected ‘not sure’ may have also experienced some degree of burnout, too.
“The respondents who chose to share the impact burnout has had on them detailed outcomes that ranged from poor project results and having to take sick leave to leaving their company entirely and further health complications. Of those who discussed overcoming burnout, many noted the importance of reasonable workloads and well-resourced teams, as well as being able to speak openly with colleagues and supervisors.
“The physical and psychological effects of burnout are serious and it’s vital that we work to support women who have or are presently experiencing it, alongside working towards preventing it from happening at all. We need to work to ensure that workloads are manageable and that company cultures allow for clear and ongoing communication – with a real emphasis on not stigmatizing anyone’s workplace needs. It doesn’t occur in a vacuum, so we have to avoid seeing it only in terms of individual experience. And in the context of the digital skills gap, we have to prioritize cultivating healthy, sustainable workplaces in which women can thrive. Addressing and preventing burnout absolutely has to be a priority within that.”
“We know that burnout’s a problem in tech, but putting an up-to-date figure on it for women gives us a clear picture of where we are right now. And 46% of women having experienced burnout in the last twelve months is an alarming picture.
“Addressing burnout has to be about action and prevention. At the organizational level, we need to be supporting women in whatever ways work best for them. One woman might need more regular check-ins, another might need fewer. If dealing with burnout means taking time off, we have to make sure that doesn’t come with any workplace stigma.
“But in a broader sense, we have to be thinking about burnout at the cultural level. Tech is notoriously fast-paced, but within that we have to make space for care and wellbeing. More open communication about workloads, targets, and expectations is going to be crucial to this – and not just within a single business. Burnout’s something we have to talk about and tackle together, as a sector.
“It’s also vital that we make the link between the burnout rate for women in tech, and the gender disparity throughout the sector – particularly at leadership level. If women are burning out in high numbers, it means the field isn’t providing healthy, sustainable work. Amongst other outcomes, burnout leads to people leaving their field entirely, so if that’s happening now for large numbers of women, they aren’t going to have the opportunity to progress. And in the context of the digital skills gap, that’s something we can’t afford.”Zoë Morris, President at Mason Frank International
Our editorial team believes that the new data collected by Mason Frank International on burnout amongst women in cloud tech roles is concerning. The fact that 46% of female tech professionals have experienced burnout in the last year highlights the severity of the issue. It is not just bad for business productivity, but it also raises questions about workplace culture, care, and wellbeing. The impact of burnout ranges from poor project results, sick leave, to leaving the company and further health complications.
We need to prioritize addressing and preventing burnout in the tech industry. We agree with Zoë Morris that it’s not just about individual experiences. It is also about cultivating healthy and sustainable workplaces where women can thrive. Companies need to provide support to their employees to manage their workload and communicate effectively about expectations. We must work together as a sector to tackle burnout and bridge the gender disparity throughout the industry, particularly in leadership roles. This is a vital step towards ensuring that women have the opportunity to progress and ultimately addressing the digital skills gap.