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Now You’re Just Somebody that S.H.E. Used to Know: Exploring “The Great Breakup”

We’re sure you’re acquainted with the term, “The Great Resignation.” Occurring in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic over the last couple of years, the national workforce witnessed an onslaught of employees jumping ship in favor of better opportunities, work-life balance, and greener pastures altogether.

But what if we told you that it was a little more nuanced than that?

Specifically, we’re talking about women in the workforce — and women in leadership positions, especially. In other words, we’re talking about “The Great Breakup.”

If You Liked It, Then You Should Have Made A Value of It

Simply put, the Great Breakup is a similar phenomenon to the Great Resignation. However, while many may think of it as a wave of women simply quitting their jobs, the subject is more complex.

And it all comes down to whether or not the woman’s company is aligned with her values.

That being said, Pew Research Center has discovered that “a greater number of women than men tend to enter or exit the labor force in an average month.”

So, what makes the Great Breakup different?

“Women leaders are leaving their companies at the highest rate we’ve ever seen—and at a much higher rate than men leaders,” as explained by McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report. “To put the scale of the problem in perspective: for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their company.”

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Let’s face it: When it comes to women leaving their place of work, many people will likely think of motherhood first. After all, having and raising a child is one of the most common reasons a woman will leave their job, right?

Well, no. Not in the case of the Great Breakup, at least. In this case, it’s often about whether or not a woman’s company is intent on bridging the gaps in both wage and diversity.

“Many women are finding that this intention isn’t there, as women continue to be more likely to experience microaggressions and overwork themselves for little to no reward, even at the executive level,” as reported by CNBC.

And, going back to McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report, the following are the top three reasons that women are “breaking up” with their current companies:

  1. Women in leadership positions have a desire to climb the ladder but face greater obstacles than their male colleagues
  2. Women in leadership positions are both overworked and underrecognized
  3. Women in leadership positions are searching for a different workplace culture

S.H.E. Is Miss Movin’ On (Because S.H.E. Matters)

Here’s a (not so) fun fact: Statistics show that a mere “one in four C-suite leaders is a woman, and only one in 20 C-suite leaders is a woman of color.”

And when you consider all of the aforementioned — in addition to the Broken Rung, the Glass Ceiling, and an overall failure to address intersectionality — these statistics are, sadly, unsurprising.

And that’s why we think it’s time we take action and inspire widespread change.

But what do you think? Have you participated in the Great Breakup or the Great Resignation? And, if so, what do you think needs to be addressed and/or changed?

Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!

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