A McKinsey and report shows that women in leadership positions are leaving their jobs.

The pandemic is especially hard on working women. And now, after years of deprivation, women’s hard-won leadership advances are virtually fading away, according to new data from McKinsey & Company and’s annual Women in the Workplace report.

Women in leadership positions, including those from senior executives to senior executives, have been the most likely to leave their jobs since McKinsey and LeanIn began collecting exit data from companies five years ago. The gap between male and female outgoing leaders is also the highest ever.

In a sense, this is the last part of the Great Retirement, in which everything veterans bosses are increasingly ready to quit their jobs in search of better conditions elsewhere, while a tight job market makes this possible. But on the other hand, this is the logical conclusion of the frustratingly slow progress of women in the workplace. It seems that there are already enough women leaders.

“Women don’t quit their jobs,” said LeanIn.Org co-founder and CEO Rachel Thomas, co-author of the report. “They part ways with their companies if they don’t provide work experience and some of the cultural elements of the job that are critical to them.”

These women left for various reasons. One of them is money, as they still earn less than men. They want better opportunities for promotion than their current job. They also want flexibility. Women are far more likely than men to want to work from home as they have excessive childcare responsibilities and tend to report worse office experiences than men.

The new study by McKinsey and LeanIn used employment data from 330 companies and surveyed more than 40,000 employees. Female leaders said they were much more likely to burn out than their male counterparts (43 percent of women versus 31 percent of men). They are also more likely to get colleagues to be recognized for their work or be mistaken for junior employees.

“These daily hits are signals,” Laraina Yee, senior partner at McKinsey and co-author of the report, told Recode. “And companies are signaling in different ways that despite your ambition and the fact that you’ve become a senior executive, there aren’t many opportunities for you to advance.”

There were already too few women in leadership positions, as women are less likely to get promoted. The report showed that for every 100 men promoted from entry level to manager, only 87 women and only 82 women of color advance. Women make up 40 percent of managers, the report says, and that proportion becomes rarer the higher women advance. Only one in four in senior leadership is a woman; only one in 20 is a woman of color.

The authors of the report stated that for every woman appointed to the position of director, two women leave this level.

The combination of management exit and slower promotion rates is bad news for companies that are supposedly working to encourage more diversity and inclusion. Companies with Diverse Leadership work better than those who do not. Women are also taking on more diversity and inclusion efforts, meaning that women in leadership positions are generating more women in leadership positions. If these companies don’t do something to stem the losses and promote women, especially women of color, the situation could get even worse.

The report says that the factors that cause women leaders to leave their companies are even more important for young women. Younger women were more likely than older women to say that career advancement had become more important to them over the past two years. About two-thirds of women under 30 said they would be more interested in promotions if they saw leaders demonstrate work-life balance. These are tracks from report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which found that work-life balance is an increasingly important career requirement for young people.

To stop this, companies need to make a lot of improvements. The report makes several recommendations, starting with flexibility. Unsurprisingly, research has shown that people who can choose the way they work (whether remote or in-person) are less likely to report burnout and are also less likely to want to quit their jobs, allowing people to work the way they want to. comfortable. the best for them is the key to their preservation. Companies also need to make sure that if they allow people to work remotely, they are assessing them – and promoting them – on par with office-working colleagues. This requires training as well as incentives: the report suggests linking a manager’s effectiveness to his ability to hire and retain women and people of color. Finally, companies have to invest heavily in the career development of these employees, including formal sponsorship programs in which senior leaders mentor women. Otherwise, women and women of color will develop their skills elsewhere.

The willingness of workers to leave in order to get what they want from work is the main hallmark of the Great Retirement. If there is a way to stop the trend of laying off workers, then perhaps more companies should be proactive to give these workers what they want.

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