Is quitting an easier option for women?

It’s disheartening to see professionally qualified women drop out of workforce, specially after pursuing career for decades.

Why do they quit? Is it lack of grit, determination, adaptability? Or is it something else?

I spoke to few women who left workforce after reaching mid or senior level. These women did not quit for personal reasons like child or elderly care. Here’s what they had to say:

1. “I was sick and tired of office politics.”

2. “I was passed over for a promotion, someone way below me in every sense got promoted. It’s so unfair, it happens all the time to women.”

3. “Commute to office was too tiring, just couldn’t take the stress anymore”

At the cost of sounding inconsiderate, I have one question, “What would a man do when faced with similar situation?” I am confident men face these challenges all the time, its not just women.

Here’s what I think a man would do:

1. At the least, he would learn to become politically savvy, and how not become a victim of office politics.

2. Speak to the manager on how he feels about being passed over for promotion. Try other means to move up the corporate ladder. If nothing works, he changes jobs; after all the world doesn’t begin or end with one company.

3. Find a solution to reduce commute time – shift residence or take faster mode of travel, or change office time.

Net-net, quitting workforce is an option that a man would rarely ever consider.

Why does this option come so easy for women? Why can’t women do everything possible to stay in the workforce?

I agree that organizations can do a lot to retain women. But I feel that women need to re-wire themselves such that quitting comes as the very last option – after every other option is ruled out!!

5 thoughts on “Is quitting an easier option for women?

  1. IMO, quitting under similar circumstances is equally easy and doable for men, if his partner is earning and there isn’t much of a financial risk! Done that – though not for identical reasons.
    A skilled and experienced employee – man or woman, can always get another job.

  2. I guess women and men are both playing out scripts.. So deeply ingrained that we don’t realize it.
    Having said that, I still do believe that organizations are designed more from men’s perspective, simply because they have been there longer and in larger numbers. Hence, these battles are harder for women, whether we accept it or not.
    However, we have to keep going until scales balance out..

    1. Thank for stopping by Charu and sharing your thoughts. Both your points are very valid. These things are so deeply ingrained in us.. right from childhood.. that other alternates kind of evaporate.

      And no doubt, we are trying to make a dent in man’s world

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts KK. You have touched a very important point, someone gets the courage to quit, when there isn’t financial risk. After some time, they tend to join back. This might be one of the reasons why its easier for women to quit, a partner working.
    I am referring to scenarios where women completely drop out of workforce, which is bothersome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s