The pandemic has been especially difficult for working women. New data from McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org’s Women in the Workplace annual report show that after years of hardship, progress in hard-won women’s leadership is actually receding. increase.
At 10.5%, the turnover rate for female managers, including senior management all the way to the C-suite, is the highest since McKinsey and Leanin began collecting turnover data at 10.5% for men, compared with 9% for men last year. increase. From the company 5 years ago. The gap between male and female leaders’ turnover rates is also greater than ever before.
In a way, this is the latest installment of the big resignations, where everyone, from frontline workers to bosses, is increasingly willing to leave their jobs for better terms somewhere else, but tight. But in another sense, this is a logical conclusion to the frustratingly slow progress of women in the workplace. Female leaders seem fed up.
“Women aren’t quitting their jobs,” says Rachel Thomas, co-founder and CEO of LeanIn.Org, who co-authored the report. She said, “If you don’t provide work experience and some of the cultural elements of work that are very important to them, they’re leaving the company.”
These women are retiring for a variety of reasons. One is money. They want better promotion opportunities than their current workplace. They want flexibility too. Women are much more likely than men to want to work from home because they report a greater burden of childcare and a generally worse experience working in an office than men.
A new study by McKinsey and LeanIn used employment data from 330 companies and surveyed more than 40,000 employees. The female leader said she was much more likely to burn out than her male colleagues (43% of her females vs. 31% of her males). It also increases the chances of her co-workers taking credit for her work or being mistaken for a junior employee.
Lareina Yee, senior partner at McKinsey and co-author of the report, told Recode: “What companies are telling you in multiple different ways is that despite your ambition and the fact that you have become a senior leader, there are not many opportunities for advancement.”
There are already too few women in management positions because women are less likely to be promoted. According to the report, out of 100 men promoted from recruits to managerial positions, only 87 women were promoted, and only 82 women of color were promoted. Women make up 40 percent of her managerial positions, according to the report, and the percentage is getting thinner as more women are promoted. Only one of her four executives is a woman. She’s only one in twenty women of color.
According to the report’s authors, for every woman promoted to board level, two women at that level leave.
Leader turnover and declining promotion rates are bad news for companies ostensibly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. Companies with diverse leadership perform better than those without. Women are also shouldering more diversity and inclusion efforts. So when women lead, more women lead. If these companies don’t do something to stem their losses and promote women, especially women of color, things could get much worse.
The factors that lead female leaders to leave companies are even more important for young women, the report found. Younger women were more likely than older women to say that career progression has become more important over the past two years. About two-thirds of women under the age of 30 said they were more interested in getting ahead if they saw their leader demonstrating her work-life balance. This is in line with a report from the National Association of College Employers (NACE), which found that work-life balance is becoming an increasingly important career requirement for young people.
To stop this, companies need to make many improvements. The report made several recommendations, starting with flexibility. Not surprisingly, the study found that people who have a choice of work arrangements (remote or in-person) are less likely to report burnout and less likely to want to quit their jobs. . What is best for them is the key to keeping them. Companies also need to ensure that when employees are allowed to work remotely, they are evaluated and promoted on par with their in-person colleagues. It requires training, and it requires incentives. The report suggests tying manager performance to their ability to hire and retain women and people of color. Finally, companies should seriously invest in the career development of these employees. This includes a formal sponsorship program where senior her leaders mentor women. Otherwise, women and women of color will hone their skills somewhere else.
A worker’s willingness to retire to get what they want from their job is a key feature of a large resignation. If there was a way to stop the tendency of employees to leave, perhaps more companies should be proactive in giving their employees what they want.