"Great Resignation" by Women Will Continue, Deloitte Study Shows

Author: Robert S. Teachout, Brightmine Legal Editor

May 13, 2022

A large majority of working women plan to leave their employers in the next two years, particularly those in nonmanagement and middle management roles, according to the Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook report recently released by Deloitte. The survey of 5,000 women across 10 countries explores the impact on women of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of gender equity in the workplace, including in career progression, work-life balance and mental wellness.

One out of 10 women are actively looking for a new role, the report found, with 59% of nonmanagers and 64% of middle managers saying that they plan to move on within two years. Only 10% of women said that they are planning to remain with their current employer for more than five years. This comes on top of the recent finding that over 1 million women have left the workforce.

Top reasons women cited for wanting to leave their current employer included:

  • Burnout (38%),
  • Insufficient pay (27%), and
  • Lack of advancement opportunities (13%).

Fifty-seven percent of women said that their motivation at work was poor or very poor, and nearly as many (56%) reported poor or very poor job satisfaction, with 45% having difficulty "switching off" work. Women in ethnic-minority groups are more likely to feel burned out (49%) than those who are not in a minority group (46%).

Looking deeper into mental health issues, the study revealed that 53% of women said they felt more stressed than they were a year ago, and a third reported taking time off due to mental health challenges. The study showed that minority women also are less likely than non-minority women to feel comfortable talking about their mental health in the workplace (33% vs. 44%) or disclose it as a reason for their absence (27% vs. 41%).

Women also reported feeling challenged when it comes to career opportunities and working conditions. Nearly half of women (51% of nonmanagers and 47% of middle managers) said their careers are not progressing as quickly as they would like. While 33% of women reported that their employees offer workplace flexibility programs, 94% believe that requesting a flexible work arrangement will negatively affect their likelihood of promotion, and 90% believe their workloads will not be adjusted accordingly if they request flexible-working arrangements.

When women work in a hybrid arrangement, 58% reported that they are excluded from meetings, discussions and informal interactions, and 45% said they do not have enough exposure to leaders. Most women who responded to the survey (59%) have also experienced harassment and/or microaggressions over the past year at work, compared to 52% in Deloitte's 2021 report.

The report recommends five areas in which employers need to take action to correct gender inequities: