We are currently facing an enormous crisis in the workplace: women are leaving in droves. A staggering 2.2 million left the workforce in 2020 alone and around 50% of women of color are planning to quit their jobs within the next two years.
The question is 'why'? What is causing so many women to resign?
WOMEN OFTEN HAVE TO JUGGLE TWO LIVES
Many women are both mothers and breadwinners. While parenthood is often magical, it can become overwhelming for any human being to juggle so many responsibilities. While men are often fathers while working full-time, plenty of research states that women continue to be the primary caregivers for children, the majority of the time.
This disparity has become even more pronounced throughout the pandemic, as women have carried the bulk of the weight for caring for children who are home from school. These sociocultural dynamics present a unique challenge for women who have been forced to work from home over the past year. For instance, it can be difficult for women to share their caregiving struggles with their colleagues, and working from home while caring for children has decreased productivity for many women.The reality is that it's even harder to juggle your career and your personal life when your child is frequently demanding your attention.
WOMEN ARE NOT ALWAYS SUPPORTED
Adding to the workplace crisis is the fact that it can be discouraging to continue working for an organization for years on end when you feel like a promotion or a raise is nowhere in sight, which, unfortunately, is the reality for many women.
According to research, women have a harder time negotiating their salary or asking for salary increases. This may be due to a prevalent cultural expectation for women to people-please and appear non threatening.
Regardless of the underlying cause, it's time for these dynamics to change. But, how do we make the shift?
HOW TO CHANGE THESE DYNAMICS
According to Melissa Dawn Simkins, the CEO and founder of The She-Suite and a widely recognized leadership expert, it's important for women to embrace leadership as a lifestyle. Simkins is a regular contributor to Inc Magazine and is a trusted advisor to many Fortune 100 companies. Although men and women alike have taken inspiration from her words, females seem to find a familiar, relatable comfort in them.
The She-Suite is a leadership and lifestyle platform that gives women a roadmap to success by guiding them in their personal and professional lives.
Simkins explains, "We believe in blending work and life. We find that there are several facets that are hidden barriers for leading women: it is discussed in our heads and hearts but rarely will our employer know. One of the barriers is clarity. Without clarity of focus and goals it is easy to fill your time with many activities which leads to burnout and overwhelm."
She also reminds women that the word, "No," is a full sentence, that self-care is key, and that it's important to embrace the inner negotiator so that women can overcome the fear of asking for a higher salary. As a black female CEO leading a technology platform, Simkins herself has had to learn to become comfortable being uncomfortable.
Especially during times of crisis and change, it's essential for women to learn how to balance their careers with a healthy dose of self-care, and leadership as a lifestyle is a good place to start.