Why women in leadership roles are more likely than ever to quit than men
It’s a topic that has been widely debated and written about, with many a study pointing to the fact that women in leadership positions are much more likely to quit than men. Now in a study at Harvard University, a researcher has found that women in leadership roles are also more likely to not stay in an organization than men, and much more likely to leave entirely.
The study, published in the journal Women in Organizations, analyzed data collected from 15,600 employees at 1,066 organizations, across 10 industries. The researchers looked into the question of whether being a woman in leadership positions led to higher numbers of employees leaving the organization. The study focused on those employees who worked at an organization for at least a year.
“I have a very simple philosophy, which is to do the right thing, do good, and then sometimes, when I think I’ve done the right thing and done good, I am not going to just continue on and do it better and better, but I’m going to go do something else,” says Katherine M. Anderson, PhD, the lead author on the study.
While previous research did find that employees in leadership positions had higher rates of turnover than employees in other roles, the study looked at turnover rates across men and women, across different industries, and also looked at the reasons for turnover.
Anderson says she wanted to see if there was any gender bias in workplace behaviors. In other words, if there was any differences when it came to leaving an organization versus staying in it.
“There are many factors that have been shown to predict people leaving their respective organizations. We wanted to see if women were different than men in terms of how they responded,” Anderson says.
The study found that women in leadership positions were more than twice as likely to leave an organization compared to men.
Anderson says the reason for women�