Here’s Why Women In India At Higher Positions Switch Jobs At A Fast Rate
By Palak Dogra
It is heartening to see women managing positions of directors, and managers, and being heads of companies. According to a study by IIM Ahmedabad, conducted in February this year, in the Indian Corporate sector, only 5% of women make it to the top positions and 7% take positions as senior executives.
Unfortunately, out of these fewer women who take higher positions, many of them are switching jobs at a pace that is incredibly fast.
A study, “Women in Workplace report 2022”, conducted by McKinsey and LeanIn.Org revealed that a lot of women handling senior managerial positions are changing jobs at high rates as compared to men who handle senior managerial positions. Though the study was conducted in America, however, this trend is widespread and seen in India as well. Thus, it has been named “The Great Breakup”.
The study shows that if two women are promoted to the directorial level, one out of the two tends to switch jobs.
Why Is This Happening?
The reason why women are leaving jobs at an unprecedented rate is that they are demanding flexible work models. Women say that their workplace isn’t giving them much space for growth and their ways of handling their teams are frequently questioned.
Women leaders tend to leave their jobs because they are constantly questioned and held mistaken even when their team is working better than others.
Aditi, a manager of the designer team confessed that she was working in that position for four years and she felt that her role got diluted as the company expanded . “I’ve been leading a team of 20–25 designers. Lately, I was also getting less recognition — or my team was getting less recognition — than the teams associated with management,” she says. She left her job three months ago.
Another woman revealed that she was managing business operations at a tech company, however, she left the job because she was annoyed with another team manager who used to give her suggestions on how she can lead the team better. She said, “He keeps trying to give me suggestions on how I should be managing my team. This is even when my team members are much happier than his.”
Another reason is the lack of flexible working hours. Women are burdened with numerous responsibilities like handling jobs and taking care of their families whilst taking out time for themselves.
Women employees who get to choose working hours and get two days of leave every week tend to be much happier in their professional lives compared to those who don’t. Due to this very reason, a lot of women opt for freelancing as they get to spend time with their families and also have a professional life.
Women are nowadays looking for jobs where they are able to maintain a work-life balance and where their lifestyle doesn’t suffer.
Aditi, who manages a team said, “As a leader, I make sure I am considerate to the women in my team when they ask for flexibility or something like a period leave. I constantly motivate my team and make sure I interact with them on a personal level as well. I take them out for team dinners or lunches, I make them comfortable so that they can tell me about any problems they are facing at the workplace.”
Women do not consider leaving jobs where they are recognized and their issues and personal issues are given importance. The report suggests , “Indeed, 40 percent of women leaders say their DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) work isn’t acknowledged at all in performance reviews. Spending time and energy on work that isn’t recognized could make it harder for women leaders to advance.”
How Can The Situation Change?
If such a scenario continues, it would get really difficult to manage the workforce. Hence, in such a case, changes need to be made so that women don’t consider leaving their jobs.
The first thing that needs to be tackled is the gender gap. According to the report, 18% fewer women at the entry level are promoted compared to their male counterparts and as a result, fewer women take up higher positions.
Talking about promotions women deserve, Maya, a manager at a company said, “The parameters for measuring success should not just be productivity and things like that, but other qualities like soft skills should be taken into account.”
The report predicts, “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.”
Hence, it is essential that workplaces adjust to the demands that women are asking so that fewer women switch jobs and inspire young women to take up managerial positions and lead an equitable workplace.
Originally published at https://edtimes.in on November 5, 2022.