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Harvard Business Review Reveals the Real Reason Women Leave Companies in Their 30s

It seems to be a common trend for women in their thirties to leave companies.

Of course, a long held belief has attributed this to demands for flexibility and family time. But a new study states otherwise.

As reported by the Harvard Business Review, a recent International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR) study reveals company leaders believe that the majority of women around the age of 30 leave for needs related to work/life balance or family planning, whereas men leave for compensation.

Women chase baby dreams and guys chase dollars, right? (***eye-roll***).

The thing is, the study also found that women themselves don’t agree with this reasoning, stating that the primary factor influencing their decision to leave an organization is pay. Furthermore, women are actually more likely to leave due to compensation than men.

As it turns out, both sexes have similar reasons for leaving organizations: Four out of the five top reasons why thirty-something women and men part ways from their companies actually overlap (presumably because, as Justin Trudeau would say, “it’s 2016”). Women care about pay just as much as their male counterparts (thank you very much).

Here are the four (out of five) top overlapping reasons why young women and men leave organizations:

• “I have found a job that pays more elsewhere.”
• “There are not enough opportunities for learning and development for me here.”
• “There is not a fair balance between how hard I work and the compensation I receive.”
• “The work here is not as interesting and meaningful as I would like.”

Furthermore, women in their 20s leave organizations for similar reasons than women in their 30s.

There is no longer a widespread decision between work and family because women (and men) are doing both. Helping their cause, a growing number of businesses are adopting more flexible work policies anyway, and paternity leave options are becoming increasingly common. While a desire for balance and family are important to females, they’re not the main reason people leave companies. Only one in ten women leave the workplace to raise children, according to 2014 study by the Harvard Business Review.

According to the recent ICEDR study, because of the misconceptions about why women leave companies, there is a disconnect between existing talent retention strategies and desires for top female talent. Meaning, it’s time companies start viewing women as full people and valuable long-term employees and to invest in them the same way they do male employees.

Most women – whether fresh out of university or in their mid-thirties – want meaningful work with ample opportunities to learn and grow. So, if you notice a mass exodus of female talent in their 30s, they’re likely pursuing better pay and fairer compensation as opposed to babies and flexible work behind white picket fences.

Just sayin’.

Notable Life

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