Female executives are more than twice as likely to leave their jobs as men. This includes both voluntarily and involuntarily departures. Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter writing for CareerBuilder on negotiating for women in business, and the data from a study by John Becker-Blease of Oregon State University, and his colleagues from Loyola Marymount University and Trinity College, came to mind. They analyzed data from Standard & Poor’s 1500 firms to reach their conclusions. The researchers determined if departures were voluntary or involuntary based on evaluating public news accounts of each executive.
They determined that 7.2% of women executives in the survey left their jobs, compared to 3.8% of men. Based on their analysis, voluntary rates were 4.3% for women and 2.8% for men, and involuntary rates were 2.9% for women and 0.9% for men.
As reported in U.S. News, Becker-Blease said, “We really had to dig deep to tease out any systematic patterns behind these departures. . . We did find that women were slightly more likely to leave smaller firms, and firms with more male-dominated boards, but this was a small effect size.”
For those women dismissed from their jobs, they suggest that mid-level managers may not be getting the opportunities and support that they need to advance. “Intriguing evidence suggesting that while the market may seem to perceive women as less capable business leaders, the disparity isn’t really about gender, but about the experience those women bring to the table, “ Becker-Blease said.
The researchers concluded that gender discrimination didn’t rear its ugly head “at an obvious level.”
Based on my research for Sun Tzu for Women, I think there’s more to the story when it comes to women choosing to leave executive positions, and I’ll be blogging about that very soon. Until next time…