59% of women surveyed felt less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic, and 24% were considering leaving the workforce altogether. (Deloitte) With more women leaving the workforce, there are now fewer opportunities for young women, especially women of colour, to receive mentorship and role modelling from more experienced women in the workplace.
“Women leaders show up as more active allies to women of colour. They are more likely than men to educate themselves about the challenges that women of colour face at work, to speak out against discrimination, and to mentor or sponsor women of colour.” (McKinsey)
This dissatisfaction with progression and growth opportunities manifests itself in women not staying at organisations, with only 4% (of women) - expecting to remain at their organisation for more than five years. This cycle of lack of opportunities leading to persistently changing roles or leaving the workforce altogether impacts the next generation of women in the workplace, who have a lack of role models to aspire towards.
The knock-on effect of female employees' poor personal wellbeing and poor opportunities for career progression ultimately impacts organisations as a whole. Fewer women in the workforce means less diversity of voice and ultimately less insight, talent and perspective within teams and management. A multiplicity of perspectives can spark creativity and innovation, helping organisations identify and seize new opportunities.
“Diverse teams are more innovative—stronger at anticipating shifts in consumer needs and consumption patterns that make new products and services possible,potentially generating a competitive edge”- McKinsey