“The perfect woman you see is a working woman; not an idler; not a fine lady, but one who uses her hands and her head and her heart for the good of others.”
Thomas Hardy, the English novelist, and poet gave us this definition of the working woman almost a century ago. From then until now, women have been the biggest reservoir of untapped talent in the world. Today, women’s participation in the workforce is crucial from an organizational and economical perspective.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women held 50.04% of jobs as of December 2019. And this percentage doesn’t include the farmers and self-employed women. Despite these numbers, women are more likely to take breaks from their jobs than men. For most women, deciding to return to work after a break for a full-time career doesn’t happen easily.
Women have to wade through a maze of dilemmas and pressure from various avenues before deciding to wear their work clothes. So, let’s be honest and ask the real question that’s nagging us: Why do women leave their high-paying jobs? Here are some of the reasons why.
Top 5 Reasons Why Women Quit Their Jobs
There can be a dozen reasons for women to hand in their resignation. But studies blame these five reasons for the high attrition rate in women employees.
1. Lack of work flexibility
Women have so much to do, apart from official work. That’s why rigid working hours and strict contract rules aren’t ideal for them. It’s no surprise that the lack of flexible working options has kept talented women away from corporate offices.
2. Poor management
Roadblocks in career progression, derailment in promotions, and poor management by the organization are contributing factors to job dissatisfaction among women.
3. Unavoidable long breaks
Staying away from work due to maternity leave or other unforeseeable issues can also dent a working woman’s motivation and self-esteem. It may become increasingly challenging for her to display her proficiency and impress her team leads.
4. Lack of organizational support
Many new mothers who return to work report feeling inadequate to deal with the latest tech tools and practices that the organization has implemented in their absence. Also, some organizations do not bother to offer support to returnees.
5. Lack of childcare options
Today, the cost of childcare is sky-high. Many mothers do not have any other option but pay all their wages to expensive childcare facilities to take care of their children.
So, should organizations just sit back and do nothing when working women quit their jobs? Oh no! That would be a huge mistake, an unimaginable situation, and an unfair decision.
More women at work improve the quality of work for all employees, regardless of gender. Employee engagement and retention are also positively affected by the contribution of female employees.
Here are some reasons why employers should encourage women employees to come back to work after a break:
5 Reasons To Welcome Women Back Into Your Workforce
You should do whatever it takes to bring your female employees back to work because they are:
1. Multitasking magicians
Have you seen women multitask? It is an innate trait they possess, which is what makes them great leaders. A multitasking woman can:
- Make quick, sound decisions
- Delegate tasks to team members
- Collect task status
- Mentor and guide teams
- Respond to situations
- Complete tasks within the deadline
Women are capable of doing all this while taking care of their own official work!
2. Nurturing and empathetic
These are other innate qualities of any woman. Nurturing women take it upon themselves to help others succeed. And because they are naturally empathetic, they can easily understand what motivates or demotivates their colleagues.
3. Experts in handling crises
Working mothers, especially, are well-versed in handling complicated situations with tact and diplomacy. Hence, they can handle similar situations at work. Moreover, they are known for their perseverance and determination, which gives them the amazing capacity to deal with challenges.
4. Excellent communicators
The entire universe will agree about women’s exceptional communication skills. Whether communicating with employers, co-workers, or partners, an open line of communication makes it easier to execute roles and responsibilities.
Women all over the world are known for juggling various roles in their lifetime. They can also effortlessly handle a full-blown career, supervise a household, look after children and aging parents.
These points are but a minuscule fraction of what women at work are capable of. If your organization’s ‘return-to-work policies aren’t women-friendly, you are missing out on innumerable talent. Here’s where we discuss the most important question in our article: How can you, the employer, create better platforms for women to return to work?
How To Roll Out The Red Carpet For Women Returning To Work?
1. Provide flexible work schedules
Like we mentioned earlier, rigid work schedules prompt women to quit their jobs. So, the first thing to do is be a bit more lenient with your work schedule. Women juggling multiple responsibilities will welcome this flexibility with open arms.
Thankfully, the remote working norm will only make it easier for you to accommodate women staff who have other life commitments. And, of course, you can deploy a employee tracking software like Flowtrack to keep an eye on your remote workforce. Thus, you can kill two birds with one stone- saving costs and enhancing productivity.
2. Adopt a “returnship” program
Women may feel out of place even in a familiar office environment after a long absence. It’s important to remember that they have been dealing with other responsibilities. Thus, it is likely they are out of touch with your latest processes and strategies.
You can handle such circumstances by deploying a “returnship” program, a curated guidance program for women ready to rejoin your workforce. Using these programs, participants can expand their networks, explore potential jobs, and develop new skills. Sounds like a plan!
3. Offer help with childcare
You do not want to miss out on talented female employees with something as simple as childcare. Of course, it is expensive. But if you can provide safe and reliable childcare within your office, who’s going to say no? You can offer onsite childcare facilities and backup care at subsidized rates. Again, a win-win situation!
4. Be open-minded with gap years
According to a survey, individuals with long work gaps have a 45% lower chance of getting interviewed. To encourage women to return to the workforce, you must be more accepting of gap years. Assuring them that they will not be turned away for a gap year is a first step to ensuring that your company receives applications from women.
5. Create a supportive environment
A good business leader will do everything in their power to create a safe, valued, and engaging environment for their female employees. You can consider implementing:
- Networking and mentoring opportunities
- Group mentoring through employee resource groups
- Mentorship programs for seniors and new hires
In mentorship programs, experienced female employees can mentor fresh recruits. This opportunity will allow them to impart their knowledge and create an engaging experience.
6. Make their return worthwhile
Do the women in your workforce love their jobs? You can find the answer to this question by using performance management tools, surveys, and open discussions. Three factors will surely bring them back to your organization, no matter how long the break:
- Supportive environment
- Positive work culture
- Satisfactory job and remuneration
Get these factors right, and you will not have to worry about them leaving your organization.
Bring Women Back & Increase Your Company Value
If you want your formidable women workforce back in your office, give them practical solutions and create inclusive cultures. Give them opportunities to deliver results and cross milestones. Make use of desktop monitoring software like HRAPP to capitalize on the skills they’ve gained in their time away from the job. Above all, believe in them and watch how they add value to your organization.