Why Women Are Quitting the Workforce (& how employers can prevent it)

The last two years has drastically changed life for many individuals, causing more than one-third of women to consider downshifting their careers or leaving their jobs entirely during the pandemic in order to care for family. As a result, there are 1.8 million less women in the workforce today than two years ago. As men have since regained job numbers lost during the pandemic, the gender inequality within the workforce has been exacerbated to the point it may take up to a decade to recover just to the level of gender disparity there was in 2019.

Below, we share several ways employers can help reverse this, and support and retain working women.  

Time Flexibility 

One of the most needed accommodations for working parents is flexible schedules. Whether an employee is working from home or in the office, parents of young children may need certain hours of the day to be home and supervising their child. 

For households with both parents working full time and sharing childcare responsibilities, some employees may be able to shift their schedules so they complement their partner, with one parent available for the child when needed. This may mean employees work nontraditional hours or have long breaks in the middle of the day while still tackling a full workload.  

Some companies have given parents an option to move to part-time or job share with another employee, allowing both to work part time to perform a job typically held by one person 

Discuss with the employee if there are blocks of time during their day that they are unable to be online and adjust as much as possible.  

Child Educational Support 

Some companies have stepped up to provide additional resources and benefits to support working parents with schoolaged children. For some, this includes providing a stipend for childcare or educational materials for children. Stipends may be able to be used for technology their children need or paying for virtual learning experiences such as ABC Mouse or Kahn Academy Kids 

Communication/Accountability 

Communicate with employees each week about their schedules and help them plan out how they will be able to accomplish their tasks. Make this an ongoing conversation in order to avoid scheduling blunders. 

Communicate also with team members of working parents to let them know if and how their work has changed. In some cases, other team members will need to take on additional responsibilities in order to support parents who move to part-time or adjust their responsibilities. Communicating these changes clearly with employees will be necessary to avoid animosity within teams.  

If other employees are expected to add additional work to their plates while others reduce their workload, consider adjusting incentives or job descriptions in order to best accommodate each person fairly. Ensure responsibilities are distributed in a way that is manageable for each member of the team and communicate clearly about each person’s responsibilities and expectations. 

In order to increase visibility and tangibly track each employees productivity, consider a project management tracker such as Trello or Asana. This can help managers point to exactly how much work is being done by each employee and keep track of projects for those who may not be working at the same time.  

While not every accommodation will be realistic or necessary for each working parent, employers should keep an open line of communication with their people to know when they need extra support. Making even small adjustments when able can go a long way in helping retain this valuable talent group.

 

Do you need temporary or parttime talent to help support your team? Let us help! Get connected here. 

 

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