In a study made up of 2,500 responses and 28 corporate interviews, the research project, Viewport 2015, covering the topic of ‘intentionality’ in women’s careers, threw up some interesting answers that could explain why women leave the workplace. The study reveals that though women are great at obtaining a job and that many companies are hiring an equal number of women as men at entry levels, many women do not invest in careers the way men do.
Women perceive ‘investing’ in a career as not being a priority; while they are good at getting a job, taking the strategic decisions to further it is hardly ever done. Her investment in a career would at best result in hiring domestic help to manage the home front; it does not involve creating mentors or sponsors at her workplace.
The woman who does get intentional about career progress and works with the same focus as a man is often branded a ‘non-family type’. Having to prove herself as career-oriented at work and family-oriented at home is a double whammy for most women.
Also, post marriage, many women begin neglecting chances for networking that would help her manage and further her career.
Women in the early career stages also tend to take time to understand the larger perspective of business, especially when burdened with managing home and work commitments. Many women see their career as a series of temporary jobs. The concept of a long-term career, calling for intentional commitment, is only seen in a small minority of women.
As such their view of the work they do, and their contribution to business, is narrower. They also take more time in developing a strong rapport with their managers. This leads to lack of a support system at a crunch.
So is there one short answer for companies to retain its women workforce? Not necessarily, there is no silver bullet. It has to be a combination of efforts from companies, supervisors, spouse and family, but more importantly it has to be concerted effort on the part of the woman herself.