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Why Women Leave (Their Jobs)

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Is your top female talent poachable? Perhaps more than you may think – 65% of women we surveyed last year said they were contemplating a job change in the next twelve months. When asked specifically why they were walking out, here’s what we learned.

Material Girls

Hands down more money is the top temptation. Everyone wants to get ahead financially and another job is the fastest route to substantially increasing compensation. But additionally, women in our research were more likely to cite not being paid enough and their bills/debts as the top reasons for stress. A new gig addresses two birds with one stone – more cash, decreased financial pressure.

Good to Grow

Stagnation is the enemy of ambitious top performers. After more money, moving on up and growing professionally were highly tempting to female job seekers. And the younger the talent, the more important. If your female superstars don’t see a trajectory for themselves at your company, they are probably looking for another launch pad.

Thrilled About Skills

Tied closely to advancement and growth is the opportunity to keep skills sharp, acquire additional ones, and explore new functional competencies. Women reported that meaningful work and interesting projects bring them on-the-job happiness, which decreases their likelihood to seek new challenges. Companies that don’t offer a well-funded, demonstrably encouraged training and development culture are at a disadvantage in this candidate-controlled job market.

All About the Benies

Better benefits are increasingly an ace in the hole for companies competing for top candidates today, and women told us that better benefits rank as the fourth wanderlust temptation. Across genders and generations, the quality and cost of medical benefits in the future were a worry. Moreover, women are apt to say that benefits and perks had a direct impact on their happiness at work.

She’s Just Not That Into You

The fifth reason women leave is finding a job that simply appeals to them more than the one they currently have. In this case employers may want to turn their strategic attention to worker happiness as an antidote to work attrition. Happy and highly engaged women are less likely to be a flight risk. In addition to the items listed above, female employees named their immediate manager, feeling respected at work, and a connection to a company’s mission/vision/values as work happiness inspiration.

While these were the top factors on the female job seeker’s list for jumping ship, paying attention to them and tweaking the employment proposition accordingly is sure to have a positive impact on the entire organization and talent retention overall.