According to the Women in the Workplace 2021 study (McKinsey & Company / Lean In), 1 in 3 women have considered downshifting their career, 4 in 10 women have considered leaving their company, and 42% of women say they are often or always burned out.
This isn’t surprising considering what women constantly face in the workplace. As if insurmountable workload isn’t enough, women silently shoulder the added stress of daily microaggressions.
Here are real-life scenarios revealed to me by women in my network:
“When I shared I was going through a divorce, I was suddenly excluded from the higher profile projects. I felt I had to work twice as hard to demonstrate my ability.”
“When I had my first child, a colleague warned me to never talk too much about motherhood or else executives would start viewing me as unpromotable.”
“I was offered a demotion in exchange for working from home because I needed flexibility while my father was in his final stage of illness.”
“I was offered 2 lateral moves within 7 years of employment because I was told I didn’t have enough experience for a promotion.”
“I once left my sick 8 year old home alone while I trekked 1.5 hours to the office. Declining an in-person meeting with our CEO wasn’t an option.”
“As a 20 year professional and executive, my CHRO had the nerve to ask me if I was career-oriented or family-oriented when I asked for flexibility…my C H R O !!”
“The CMO ‘politely’ asked me if it was possible to change the date of my medical test so we could avoid rescheduling a critical meeting.”
“I was the editor in chief for a well-known NYC publication prior to having children. Even with years of meaningful freelance experience, the only positions available to me when seeking to rejoin an organization were entry level.”
“Our CEO checked our screen time and meeting attendance throughout the pandemic, especially those with children.”
“Our boss required us to come to Zoom meetings with our hair and make-up done.”
“During the pandemic, I was asked why I needed to take a personal day to help my son since we all were operating under the same roof.”
“I was up for a promotion during the time I was pregnant. My manager told me they would wait until post pregnancy to promote me to see if this was a step I could handle with my new lifestyle.”
Burnout occurs from excessive stress sustained for prolonged periods of time.
These stories are countless examples of continuous mental and emotional stress sustained by women in the workplace.
But, as one of my colleagues shared with me – – –
“Women are no longer willing to take the hits, roll with the punches, stay quiet, or remain at the back of the line.”
There will be no more relinquishing better pay, better hours, better health, or a better life in favor of being a team player or achieving some delusion of success.
As a former executive who faced strong headwinds rising through the ranks, chartered her own journey from burnout, and created a company to help people become CEO of their life, I am thrilled to witness the tables turning.
The great resignation is showing that employees everywhere (especially women) are no longer willing to sacrifice their well-being for career success. It’s in the hands of CEO’s and the entire C-suite to develop the appropriate response to their needs. What an opportunity to shine!
If you are an individual or an organization unsure of what’s needed to lead the biggest turnaround of your life, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
One conversation together might be the game changer you need!