Before the headlines about the Great Resignation, there was a mass-exit from the workplace. In spring 2020, approximately 3.5 million mothers with school-age children lost jobs or left the workforce in the US. Although many jobs have returned since the early waves of the pandemic, there are still 1.1 million fewer women in the workforce than in February 2020.
Yet, among the women working, many remain an ambitious force in their workplaces, according to a new study from HP commissioned by Morning Consult, a global decision intelligence company and market researcher.
The global study of women in the US, Canada, UK, Mexico, and India revealed how women are still eager to advance in their careers, with one in three in the US having applied for promotions last year. The top reason for applying for promotion among all surveyed is to increase income (60%), followed by readiness to take on more responsibility (37%). More women (42%) than men (31%) said they are looking for a promotion because they are already doing higher-level tasks outside of their role.
HP’s Chief People Officer Kristen Ludgate says companies have to step up to retain female talent.
“We can’t afford to lose more women in the workforce,” she says. “This is a wake-up call for companies to reconnect with their female employees.”
Across all industries and roles, women are promoted at a slower rate than men, according to findings by McKinsey & Co. A 2021 report found only 86 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men at the same level, according to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace study, coauthored with LeanIn.Org. But the gender gap for women in technical roles is more pronounced, with only 52 women being promoted to manager for every 100 men.