The article focuses on why women tend to leave the workforce at a higher rate than men. Only 2% of CEO positions are held by women. Whereas there is not a single answer as to why women opt to leave the workforce, the article suggests various reasons. First are issues centered on family and child care. The second reason is because an increasing number of women state that they leave their positions due to boredom and frustration. It means that women leave their current employers to find opportunities that can challenge them. Nonetheless, the article asserts that these factors are manageable. Conversely, some organizations offer mentoring and coaching initiatives for women, training geared towards women, and family-friendly policies to attract and retain a significant number of female workers.
The departure of women has adverse effects on organizations ranging from loss of innovation to reduced revenues. It affects a company’s bottom line far beyond the impartiality of gender equality. According to a survey by McKinsey & Company (2017), companies renowned for gender diversity are more likely to register financial returns better than the industry’s average. Further, firms with many women on the board of directors realize a higher return on sales than the ones with fewer women since consumers view them positively in regards to advancement of gender equality. Gender diversity has exceedingly become a competitive driver for getting new top talent. Viewing women play a key role at each organizational level enables new employees to perceive themselves developing a career and advancing within a firm. A low number of women in leadership positions can make new talent to consider working elsewhere, likely in a competing firm. Retaining women has become increasingly important for organizations since it enables a firm to stay competitive and gain an edge over its rivals. An organization which retains a high number of women in its workforce demonstrates that it has fair gender practices and gives women the chance of advancement based on their merit.
Women who decide to rejoin the workforce face the prospect of getting lower wages than they previously did. This practice is unfair since it diminishes the role of a woman in an organization. The fact that a firm is willing to re-hire a former employee means that she is important to their operations, therefore, she should be given a compensation package that reflects her contribution to the firm. Further, it is likely that this woman has gained more experience and insight into the industry, and this could be an invaluable asset to the organization. In addition, her return will shed positive light on an organization hence increase its chances of attracting new talent. Based on these reasons, women rejoining the workforce should be given the same or even higher compensation package than before they left.
If lower wages discourage women form re-entering the workforce, then companies should strive to increase other forms of compensation that either benefit their personal life or enhances their career trajectory. For instance, an organization can offer education benefits for women who left their positions due to child care issues. In the case of women who left to seek better opportunities, organizations can offer them training and mentorship programs that will enhance their skill set to give them steady career growth.
The first key learning from the case is that organizations need to device strategies to retain more women in their workforce. The best way to achieve this is creating schedule and career flexibility. The demands that women encounter, between time spent at work and personal commitments outside the office, cannot be mitigated easily, but firms can assist to decrease the difficulty of prioritizing one over the other. More dynamism in work schedule and remote working assist to harmonize the chaos of balancing life and work (Sandberg, 2015). Companies need to re-develop their inflexible career trajectories for workers. Advancement in a firm is no longer restricted to the conventional “career ladder.” The current modern organizations offer workers the opportunity to move vertically, laterally, and even diagonally to explore new positions, skills, and projections. Enabling and establishing dynamism will enable longer and increasingly diversified roles to a company and lead to greater employee engagement and loyalty in the long run.
The second key lesson is that women play a significant role in ensuring a company has a robust bottom line. Currently, women constitute almost 50% of the workforce, thus, new standards and policies must be deployed to facilitate them the chance to grow along with their organizations (Sandberg, 2015). The money and effort required to enable and grow female employees just to see a significant percentage leave prior to reaching leadership roles is both careless and bad business. Companies can unlock this talent path with the correct mindset, programs, and strategy to enable women to succeed throughout their country and enable a firm to gain a sustainable edge over its competitors due to positive practices.
Kunze, A., & Miller, A. R. (2017). Women helping women? Evidence from private sector data on workplace hierarchies. Review of Economics and Statistics, 99(5), 769-775.
Sandberg, S. (2015). Lean in-Women, Work and the Will to Lead.