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!!