3 Takeaways Employers Must Consider About the Great Resignation’s Gender Gap

3 Takeaways Employers Must Consider About the Great Resignation’s Gender Gap


Whether you’re a leader at an up-and-coming startup or an enterprise-level employer, business leaders everywhere have learned critical lessons about retaining talent in the last few years. After the pandemic sparked a change in how we work and live, professionals across industries changed employers or left the workforce altogether in record numbers—creating constant organizational gaps and making it harder to re-hire outside talent. An existential shift in values and priorities has had employees everywhere reassessing what matters to them. While the Great Resignation is stabilizing, 4.4 million workers left their jobs this past September.

But even as the workforce becomes re-engaged and resignations are dipping nearly three years into a post-Covid reality, and in a rough economy, something stands out in the aftermath. Women were more likely to leave their jobs than men, and 2021 was a record year for them, making career transitions up 54% compared to men with 46%.

When you look at more numbers, one thing is abundantly clear, retaining top female talent should be a priority for every employer. According to IBM, companies that promote gender diversity and the advancement of women generate up to 61% as much revenue growth as other organizations. 60% report higher revenue growth than their competitors, and 73% lead in customer satisfaction. And McKinsey reported that organizations with higher levels of women perform, on average, up to 50% better than businesses with the smallest female representation.

The numbers don’t lie. So let’s examine why women have been calling it quits and how to prevent it at your workplace.

Women demand greater flexibility—give it to them.

A lot has changed since 2020, but women still have the lion’s share of familial responsibilities. They don’t just want greater flexibility. Many female professionals require it to balance their role at home. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the drivers fueling more turnover among women than their male counterparts is moving into a more flexible position. Whether it’s the desire to work remotely and spend more time with family at home or the move away from hustle culture to a maintainable work-life balance, women will make a move to prioritize their needs and their families.

LinkedIn also found that 4 in 10 women who struggle with pandemic-caused stress experience burnout. Between their family responsibilities and the latest disruptions, some female professionals left the workforce altogether because it was too much.

For some company leaders, there’s been a desire to get “back to normal.” While it’s tough to build the same kind of camaraderie and working relationships over Zoom as in-person, employees of all genders are now accustomed to having the option. It’s no longer a perk or a “nice-to-have,” so it’s crucial to weigh all the factors before forcing employees back into the office.

They can’t pay the bills on their current salary—evaluate salary adjustments where needed.

One-third of the women LinkedIn surveyed shared that their income level isn’t high enough to pay for their family’s living expenses. Due to the rising cost of childcare, for some women, it’s less viable for them to work than be dedicated stay-at-home parents. At the height of the pandemic, women were leaving the workforce twice as much as men. Families had to keep up with the ups and downs of school closures and inflation.

It’s important to factor the cost of living into your salaries because higher pay is one of the top reasons women cite for moving into a new role. Even amid economic uncertainty, inflation has undeniably impacted your employees and the salaries needed to maintain their quality of life. Benefits, including childcare and fertility perks, also play into their decision-making, so it’s essential to evaluate your organization’s competitiveness in these areas.

Women are more likely to make an intelligent pivot to advance their careers.

More than half of women are open to considering a change in their career path to move higher up the ranks—compared to 44% of men. Building a workplace that empowers women and nurtures their career growth can help with retention. Consider putting a formal mentorship program in place to allow your non-male employees to achieve their goals and break into leadership roles.

Have more questions? Staffing Strong has answers. 

At Staffing Strong, we have a pulse on the needs and goals of standout talent—including female professionals. Our talent specialists help discover what motivates job seekers and inspire existing employees. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!

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