quiet quitting

Quiet Quitting Is Over. We’re In The Middle Of The Great Breakup

Women are leaving work, not because they have to but because they want to.

Quiet quitting is all about giving up on your job while continuing to work at it, either for the sake of the paycheck or some other life-related decision. However, for a subset of the workforce, female leaders in particular, they have decided that enough is enough.

Leanin.org and Mckinsey & Company conducted a study over 8 years, looking at 600 organizations with up to 20 million employees. Here is what they found.

  • Only 1 in 4 C-suite executives is a woman, and only 1 in 20 is a woman of color.
  • Compared to 100 men promoted from entry-level to manager, only 87 women and 82 women of color are promoted.
  • Almost half of the female leaders at companies state they are burned out, compared to one-third of male leaders.

These discrepancies are contributing to workplace dissatisfaction for women. Even those that attain leadership roles are unhappy with the quality of work, and approximately two-thirds of those at the top are deciding to leave.

What we’re seeing is a phenomenon called the Great Breakup

The Great Breakup

Women are leaving by choice in search of careers that recognize their hard work and provide equal opportunities for advancement.

It’s not just an issue of women in a male-dominated workplace.

Here’s What’s Happening.

Many women experience daily microaggressions at work that undermine their authority and make it seem like they are not fit for the job.

Even when women take the initiative to ask what they can do for advancement, they are not given clear guidelines. This makes it all the more difficult to continue forging a path forward in corporate America.

Yet, while waiting for promotions, women are not just sitting and waiting. Statistically, women work harder and do more to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Unfortunately, promoting DEI policies often goes unrecognized and unrewarded. This may explain the discrepancy in advancement. It may also be the reason 43% of women are burned out at higher levels than their male counterparts, of which only 31% are burned out.

These issues are prompting female leaders to make moves. Many are looking for jobs at other companies or considering a career change altogether. This creates an issue at the top. Attaining leadership at any company requires years of work experience and skill. For women to attain these positions means they have overcome extraordinary hurdles. Without women at the table, diversity of thought also decreases, and decision-making suffers.

The Push Towards DEI

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ubiquitous terms nowadays. However, as much focus as there has been on these concepts in the last few years, there’s been even less training on how managers should handle them. 

This gap likely contributes to the issues that women are facing as well. While they focus on promoting DEI, company policies have not changed or caught up to this shift. As a result, the work goes unnoticed, unappreciated, and un-rewarded.

What Are Corporate Professionals Looking For?

Almost half say they want more flexibility, a higher commitment to diversity and equality, and real opportunities for advancement.

In so many industries, the pandemic highlighted the already existing problems within companies. In healthcare, staffing shortages and supply chain bottlenecks were spotlighted. In corporate America, the need to work remotely or adjust to a changing work landscape brought into the spotlight how toxic company culture can be and not employee-centric.

Remote work is one way in which employers can retain their highly-skilled leadership. 9 out of 10 women cited in the same McKinsey study stated that they experience fewer microaggressions when working from home.

Hard work also needs to be recognized and rewarded. Young women, especially those under 30, are more adamant than ever about having access to opportunities. More than half of that age group want the ability to advance; they are no longer satisfied with the status quo.

This isn’t to say that the next generation is looking for handouts. No, they want recognition for the work done and the ideas they bring.

In Summary

If companies wish to retain their top talent and continue to bring diversity to the table, they must learn to adapt to those workers’ changing needs and wishes.

As the older generations retire, a new fresh generation must follow in their footsteps. Young leaders bring new ideas and can help companies adapt to changing mindsets and social norms.

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