In November, 4.5 million American workers left their jobs. This statistic is not new, nor surprising, considering the Great Resignation has continued well into the pandemic and beyond. The Great Resignation, named as such by Anthony Klotz, a professor at the University of Texas A&M, refers to the exodus of people leaving the workforce at the start of 2021. Some workers have handed in resignation letters in search of different job opportunities, for better pay, and some even suggest some Americans are done working at all. The trend of workers leaving the force seems to continue and does not show signs of slowing. However, according to the National Women’s Law Center, women account for a majority of workers lost in this event.
According to an article published by KOLD, in late January 2022, as of February 2020, the U.S. lost 3.6 million jobs, and women make up 59% of that number. Women in the United States are facing tough decisions when it comes to staying in their jobs or leaving. One concern for these women is finding adequate child care and support. Even before the pandemic hit the United States, working mothers had to deal with figuring out how to balance work and home life. Some industries have been more affected by the Great Resignation than others, including childcare services. This leaves working parents and mothers scrambling as they search for ways to find support.
Another reason women seem to be more affected by this phenomenon is due to experiencing higher levels of burnout. This includes feelings of exhaustion, distance from one’s job, and reduction of efficacy, according to the World Health Organization. In a podcast published by McKinsey, 42% of women say they reported feeling burned out. Even though some women are reporting these feelings, they also seem to be doing more to support others in the workplace dealing with similar situations.
Women in positions of senior leadership are doing more to support their peers emotionally, being the kind of leaders many companies are looking for in today’s world as we push towards better work-life balance and conditions. According to McKinsey, the women in these high positions are 60% more likely to focus on emotional support with co-workers. This is really important because this kind of support may help workers be happier in their posts, and stay in their current positions instead of looking elsewhere. However, we have to realize the toll it may take on these women to act as the support systems. Across professional spaces, we need to have systems in place to help alleviate workplace stress and to offer more of a support system. It should not be the burden of a few. Corporate culture may be changing and I believe the more perspectives we have at the table, the better that culture will be.
As we come out of college or university and into the workforce, we should keep all of this in mind moving forward. In what ways can we help these issues of unhappiness in the workplace? How can we be a part of the solution, and not hinder it further?
https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/28/economy/child-care-labor-force-declines/index.html https://www.who.int/news/item/28-05-2019-burn-out-an-occupational-phenomenon-international classification-of-diseases