70% of Women Have Dropped off the Workforce: X- Leap Survey

70% of Women Have Dropped off the Workforce: X- Leap Survey

A sabbatical has a huge impact on women’s sentiments about their careers. Overall a whopping 47 per cent of women have taken a sabbatical, globally, reveals The Brewing Soul Storm survey by X-Leap. 


The study further states that about 70 per cent have dropped out of employment and have started something of their own or are looking for a job. The remaining 30 per cent have active employment.


Organisations, culture, and systems along with family support are the key reasons for these massive dropouts, especially at the mid-management level.


Around 62 per cent of women who are self-employed or are not working today have blamed ‘organisation culture’ at their previous workplace as the primary reason for them to drop out. The key insight that is strongly coming through is that organisations have struggled to manage the problem during these middle years.


The survey discovered three distinct personas of women who are in employment i.e., Roaring, Confident, and Struggling. Roaring - indicates women who had a great career and were positive about their future in the current company, Confident – indicates women feeling confident about their general career ahead, but facing a ‘progress block’ or building on a ‘weak past’ and Struggling– indicates women who were not confident about the future of their career. 


According to the findings, only 17 per cent women in the Roaring persona have taken a sabbatical, whereas, 52 per cent and 59 per cent of women in the Confident and Struggling personas, respectively, have taken career sabbaticals.


The pandemic brought a major shift in workplaces, most women felt that their companies managed COVID well across personas, the effectiveness of work policies have scored high. Moreover, layoffs and pay cuts seem to have no effect on sentiments. However, 25 er cent women found WFH challenging and these women felt that the Employee Assistance Programs were not so effective. 


Saikat Ghosh, Managing Partner, X-Leap said, “Our survey indicated that 34 per cent of women are not positive of their career aspirations being met at the current workplace and maybe on ‘attrition watchlist’. Organisations need to stem the rot right away as there is a large proportion of disengaged women employees. Organisations need to treat DEI as a Strategic imperative, not just as another HR initiative. It is imperative that ‘band-aid’ fixes are not applied but deep-rooted mindsets and beliefs are addressed. Thirdly, organisations may not find too many best practices to copy-paste; they would need to custom build their own solutions, which suit their unique heritage, culture, and persona mix.


Krishna N Venkitaraman, Managing Partner, X-Leap said, “To help organisations to comprehensively understand the ’inclusion’ issues and craft a path forward for positive transformation, it is critical to start measuring them. X-Leap has now validated a tool that will enable organisations to get an Inclusion Score. The tool would also help organisations to identify the hot spots in the company - where the concentration of ‘struggling’ personas is more or where patriarchy as a microculture is impacting employee wellbeing. X-Leap consultants can then of course work with the organisations to design solutions to improve inclusiveness while balancing organisation and business realities.”


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