A new study by global bank Citi looked at the reasons behind their troubling attrition rate of senior females. Surveying 500 men and women who had left the organisation from around the globe, the findings were interesting and sometimes surprising.
These are a few of the discoveries:
- Women are loyal. Compared to the men who had left the women had worked with the organisation for longer and many took a lot longer to decide to leave.”There seems to be a loyalty dynamic at play with our senior women that is more prevalent than our male cohort,” Minashi writes.
- Women talk to their bosses and HR. While fewer men had discussed their plans with their bosses or HR, 90% of women talked with their manager ahead of time and 50% of women spoke with their HR partner. “I believe this represents a huge opportunity for organisations in that we can raise manager capability to hold meaningful career conversations and encourage greater connectedness in terms of talent and mobility discussions,” Minashi writes.
- Flexibility or work life balance is not the problem. Most women surveyed strongly disagreed that flexibility or work life balance challenges had anything to do with their decision to leave. “The message came back loud and clear – “we are here to work, we want large, complex, exciting leadership challenges. Let me worry about what is going on at home”,” Minashi writes.
- Family is rarely the reason women leave their jobs. The global study showed just 4% of females who left did so to stay at home. Sixty-three percent went to other corporate roles in the financial services sector – exactly the same as the percentage of men – and 22% started their own businesses.
- Female breadwinners are on the rise. Two-thirds of the women in the study reported that they were their family’s main breadwinner. “The mortgage, kids’ education, pensions and financial planning are being funded and supported by senior women as much as the traditional male breadwinner ever was. Promotions, pay and career path are all as equally important,” Minashi writes.
- Tipping point. “Female attrition seems to be led by an accumulation of micro disappointments rather than one significant event. It wasn’t the promotion people missed out on, or the change in business model but rather the growing frustration that career pace and trajectory were not aligned with expectations,” Minashi writes.