Tech employees now more likely to be whistleblowers

Almost half (46%) of tech workers are more likely to report any wrongdoing now than they were before various scandals hit their sector, according to research from Indeed?

Such high-profile scandals include data breaches and accusations of data mismanagement, such as the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, and accusations of sexual harassment at Uber and Google.

A fifth (20%) of the tech workers interviewed said they worked for a company involved in a scandal, and more than half of this group (52%) have since moved on. Almost a quarter (24%) would now be willing to quit their job should their company be hit by a scandal.

Younger generations are more likely to quit, with more than a third (36%) of those aged between 16 and 24 indicating they would leave their job should a scandal strike. This compared to a quarter (25%) of those between 25- and 44-years-old and a tenth (9%) of those aged 45 and above who said they'd leave. However, only one in 10 tech workers of all ages said they were now less keen to stay in the industry as a whole.

Sexual harassment was found to be the most likely scandal to cause employees to leave their company (45%), ahead of tech-based incidents (43%). With pressure mounting for the industry to face stricter regulation, more than half of tech workers (55%) agreed the sector needs tighter controls.

Bill Richards, UK managing director of Indeed, said the research shows the importance of transparency in employer branding. “The UK tech sector has continued to boom in recent years and now employs more than two million, making it a magnet for talent, investment and innovation. The study highlights the crucial role employer brand and transparency play to appeal to a growing number of workers who are willing to turn their backs on the sector and vote with their feet if their employer acts unethically,” he said.

“The success of the UK – and specifically London – as a tech hub means companies can attract some of the brightest minds on the planet, but fewer are tempted by commercial success alone and, as our results show, more are now motivated by the pursuit of being a good digital citizen and doing what’s right.”

500 workers in the UK technology industry were interviewed by Censuswide for Indeed.