10th April 2017

Robert Walters research reveals why UK women leave jobs

Woman and child riding a bicycle

Our latest research has revealed that a lack of career progression is the number one reason why women would consider leaving a job, with 66% saying that it would lead them to consider a new role. The study, which surveyed over 700 professionals from a range of disciplines across the UK, revealed that a lack of career progression is more likely to result in women leaving a role, than a difficult boss (62%), or long working hours (50%).

Lucy Bisset, Associate Director at Robert Walters, comments:

“Employers are aware of the importance of developing a working culture that engages and encourages professionals to develop their careers. The opportunity for career progression is the most important factor for women when considering whether or not to leave a role, ahead of working with a challenging boss or having to contend with long working hours or a poor company culture.”

“Employers looking to secure top female talent need to ensure that they communicate the opportunities for career progression they can offer throughout the recruitment process and do so in a way that demonstrates that they value inclusion.”

Working hours also a factor

While the number one factor for women leaving a role was lack of career progression, the research also showed that a significant number of UK women would consider leaving a role due to long hours or poor work-life balance. 50% of women surveyed said that poor company culture or long working hours would drive them to look for opportunities elsewhere. 

Lucy Bisset continues:

“Women place a high level of importance on family friendly policies and good work-life balance, but it is clear that many are willing to make sacrifices in these areas in order to secure a role which can offer strong career progression.”

“Hiring managers should note that this doesn’t mean that work-life balance policies should be abandoned. On the contrary, providing flexible working hours and other initiatives will play a significant role in attracting high calibre professionals and ensuring that staff are as productive as possible.”

“By combining opportunities for career development with flexible working practices employers can secure the most ambitious professionals and ensure that they perform at their best in their role.”

Key trends:

  • 66% of women said that they would leave a job if they felt there was a lack of career progression available.
  • By contrast, 50% of women said that they would leave a job due to long working hours.

For further information, or a full copy of the research paper please contact Rum Gill on rumandeep.gill@robertwalters.com or 020 7509 8178.