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Why women leaders are switching jobs

November 14, 2022

Women in leadership positions are demanding more from their work and leaving their jobs at an unprecedented level. And, to reach gender equality, companies need to go beyond lip service, according to the Women in the Workplace report from consulting firm McKinsey in partnership with LeanIn.Org. More than 40,000 women were surveyed, from 333 U.S. organizations.

According to the study, for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their company. The reasons range from being more likely to experience belittling microaggressions, such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior, to the increasing importance given to flexibility, employee well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

  • Women leaders want to advance, but they face stronger headwinds than men.
  • Women leaders are overworked and underrecognized. 
  • Women leaders are seeking a different culture of work.

For the eighth consecutive year, a broken rung at the first step up to manager is holding women back. The report reveals that for every 100 men who are promoted from entry-level roles to manager positions, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted. As a result, men significantly outnumber women at the manager level, and women can never catch up. There are simply too few women to promote to senior leadership positions.

“If companies don’t take action, they risk losing not only their current women leaders but also the next generation of women leaders. Young women are even more ambitious and place a higher premium on working in an equitable, supportive, and inclusive workplace. They’re watching senior women leave for better opportunities, and they’re prepared to do the same.”, the authors say.

Source: Women in the Workplace 2022