Report: Turnover Rate for Women Execs in Retail Higher Than Men
This article originally appeared on the website of Total Retail's sister brand, Women in Retail Leadership Circle.
One of our Girls’ Lounge @ Shoptalk partners (see article above), the Network of Executive Women (NEW), released an interesting study this week that found the turnover rate among women, especially women executives, in retail and consumer goods is much higher than among men.
The report, The Female Leadership Crisis, published in partnership with Mercer and Accenture, found that turnover rates in the retail industry overall are significantly higher for women than men (31 percent vs. 24 percent). The findings are based on a survey of more than 3,600 NEW members and U.S. retail and consumer goods industry employees, plus hiring, promotion and turnover data from eight leading companies representing more than 400,000 employees.
The report also found that the turnover rate increases as women climb the corporate ladder. Women first- and mid-level managers leave at nearly double the rate of their male peers, 24 percent vs. 13 percent at the companies surveyed. The turnover rate for senior executive and C-suite level women is nearly four times that of men — 27 percent vs. 7 percent.
Why the disparity? The Female Leadership Crisis identified four main reasons: women feel isolated; favortism and bias is embedded in corporate cultures; women don't feel supported in new roles; and work/life issues are taking a toll.
NEW expressed concern that these findings means it will be more difficult than ever to reach gender parity.
"While the industry has made progress in closing the gender gap in hiring and promotions, the astounding rate of turnover of women in leadership roles guarantees we will never reach gender parity," said NEW president and CEO Sarah Alter.
Beth Marrion, managing director, retail for Accenture (and a NEW board member), noted that "unless companies act now to tear down barriers to gender diversity and inclusion, the percentage of women executives at the participating companies is projected to drop precipitously, from 35 percent today to an alarming 15 percent by 2027."
The report also lays out solutions for companies to help them keep women engaged, reduce turnover and drive gender equality. For example, companies should transform their cultures to be more inclusive as well as address systemic issues affecting retention, from succession planning and development opportunities to work/life flexibility.
What are your thoughts here? Are you surprised by the findings? Does your company have any strategies in place to keep female executives engaged? Please let me know by leaving a comment below or reaching out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.