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Why are women leaders leaving their companies at the highest rate in years? The research is in.

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

"43% of women leaders are burned out, compared to only 31% of men at their level.”

This is one of the many findings that stood out to me in the 2022 “Women in the Workplace” report, published by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.

The report finds that, “Women leaders are leaving their companies at the highest rate in years, and the gap between women and men leaders leaving is the largest we’ve ever seen. To put the scale of the problem in perspective: for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their company.”

According to this report, 17% of women cite the reason for switching jobs in the past two years as related to “unmanageable workload” – compared to 10% of men who cite that reason. They are leaving for companies that are committed to employee wellbeing and diversity, equity and inclusion.

I suspect perfectionism plays a role in some of these findings. While perfectionism isn’t necessarily more common among high-achieving women than it is among men, my research shows that its impact is significantly more far-reaching for women. In fact, women who identify strongly as “Perfectionist” report the following relative to men who report identifying as “Perfectionist” at similarly high levels:

→Are considering leaving their job at a 51% higher rate

→Feel 27% more burned out

→Feel 27% less satisfied in their job

→Feel 18% less engaged at work

→Feel 16% less satisfied with the quality of their mental health

Based on what I’ve seen, I believe this relates to the particular ways in which society expects women to be perfect across a range of dimensions (at work, in their relationships, in parenting, in caring for their homes and bodies, etc.), often taking a far-reaching toll on those women who identify strongly as perfectionists.

Do you want to learn how to let go of some of these patterns at work – achieving greater satisfaction, sustainability, longevity and wellbeing in your job in the process? Join me in a free training tomorrow, Thursday 12/1, and take a first step in that direction. I’d love to see you there!

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