Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen, and ambitious young women are prepared to do the same. To make meaningful and sustainable progress toward gender equality, companies need to go beyond table stakes. That’s according to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org.
This is the eighth year of the Women in the Workplace report. Conducted in partnership with LeanIn.Org, this effort is the largest study of women in corporate America. This year, we collected information from 333 participating organizations employing more than 12 million people, surveyed more than 40,000 employees, and conducted interviews with women of diverse identities—including women of color,1 LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities—to get an intersectional look at biases and barriers.
This research revealed that we’re amid a “Great Breakup.” Women are demanding more from work, and they’re leaving their companies in unprecedented numbers to get it. Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen—and at higher rates than men in leadership. That could have serious implications for companies. Women are already significantly underrepresented in leadership. For years, fewer women have risen through the ranks because of the “broken rung” at the first step up to management. Now, companies are struggling to hold onto the relatively few women leaders they have. And all of these dynamics are even more pronounced for women of color.