30-something men and women. Are we really so different when it comes to why we leave our jobs?
Depending on what you read, there’s quite a range of opinion and theory on this. Clearly there is some evidence for the idea (and also sometimes bias) that women in this child-bearing age cohort leave to take care of our families. There’s some data to show that this generation of millennial women are more likely to take career breaks for family care-taking than previous generations of women.
Another theory, published by Fast Company last week suggested that millennial women (even childless ones) are more likely to burn out at work due to an (impossibly) high self-defeating set of expectations about our performance and achievements at work.
Then, barely before the ink dried on that theory, a study published by ICEDR (the International Consortium for Executive Development Research) found that men and women in their 30’s actually leave their employers for many of the same reasons. Here were the top 5 reasons women left their employers:
1. “I found a job elsewhere that pays more.” (65%)
2. “There are not enough opportunities for learning and development for me here.” (62%)
3. “The work here is not as interesting and meaningful as I would like.” (56%)
4. “There is not a fair balance between how hard I work and the compensation I receive.” (56%)
5. “We are starting a family. I would like to spend more time with them.” (54%)
For men, the ICEDR survey found a similar set of reasons:
1. “There are not enough opportunities for learning and development for me here.” (65%)
2. “I found a job elsewhere that pays more.” (56%)
3. “The work here is not as interesting and meaningful as I would like.” (50%)
4. “There is a not a fair balance between how hard I work and the compensation I receive.” (44%)
5. “I do not fit in well with the team.” (41%)
Putting aside the last answers for men (which we found quite interesting), it’s clear that a majority of women do cite family concerns when leaving an employer. However, it’s also eye-opening to see that these family matters ranked below 4 other reasons that primarily had to do with compensation, fairness and personal growth. Overall, the two lists look strikingly similar.
It’s easy, then, to understand the reaction Ann Friedman had to this data. Her conclusion (“Pay women more!”) sits well with us, and will probably make you smile.
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