The trend of women leaders leaving their companies at high rates has significant implications for companies. The underrepresentation of women in leadership roles is a long-standing issue, and now companies are facing the additional challenge of retaining the relatively few women leaders they have. This trend is even more pronounced for women of colour, who face even greater barriers in the workplace.
One of the main reasons for women leaders leaving their companies is that they face headwinds that make it harder for them to advance. They are more likely to experience microaggressions such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior. They are also more likely to take on additional responsibilities related to employee well-being and fostering inclusion, but often receive little recognition or reward for this work.
In addition, women leaders are increasingly looking for companies that prioritize flexibility, employee well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their workplace culture. They want to work in a supportive and inclusive environment where they can advance and be recognized for their contributions.
The trend of women leaders leaving their companies also has implications for the next generation of women leaders. Young women are watching senior women leave for better opportunities and are prepared to do the same if they don’t find the support and advancement they are looking for in their current company.
In order to address this issue, companies need to take a proactive approach to promoting gender equality and creating a culture that supports and retains women leaders. This may include implementing policies and programs to support the advancement of women, providing training on microaggressions and unconscious bias, and recognizing and rewarding the contributions of women leaders. Companies must also take a hard look at their DEI policies and programs to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and effective. By taking these steps, companies can not only retain their current women leaders but also attract and retain the next generation of women leaders.