How Coaching Can Support Women in Leadership
According to the latest Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org, women leaders are leaving their companies at a higher rate than has ever been seen. The report highlights that for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their organizations.
The 2022 Women in the Workplace report highlights three key reasons women are leaving their companies:
- Women leaders want to advance, but they face stronger headwinds than men. Women report they have been passed over for a role for either their gender or for being a parent. Women also reported their judgment is questioned frequently as they are twice as likely as men to be mistaken for someone more junior.
- Women leaders are overworked and under-recognized. Studies have long shown that women take on more responsibilities at home than their male counterparts and this has been exacerbated since the pandemic. 43% of women leaders reported feeling burned out, while this was true for only 31% of men at the same level. Women are twice as likely as men to report being involved in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, putting in time and focus to ensure the success of these initiatives with their teams and organizations. At the same time, women are feeling like their work on DEI and culture-building initiatives is not recognized as part of performance.
- Women leaders are seeking a different culture of work. Flexibility, culture and how an organization prioritizes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are important to women. 49% of women leaders say that flexibility is one of the top three reasons that they may choose to stay with or join a company. Women are also 1.5 times more likely than men to have left a previous job for an organization with a greater commitment to DEI.
Based on nearly 20 years of developing leaders, we can confirm that we are hearing many of the same themes in our work with women. In order to address the top three reasons women are leaving their companies, companies need to support women in asking for what they need while also creating a culture that encourages them to do so. Leadership coaching offers leaders the time and space to recognize where they are stuck, identify what they need to move forward, and develop the capacity to honestly speak to their needs and requests. Through coaching, leaders can bring focus to what will allow them to succeed in their role, in turn resulting in the success of their teams and organizations.
Talent retention is critical to organizations at this time. Creating a culture where needs may be openly expressed is key to maintaining employee engagement. While organizations may not be able to meet every request made by leaders in terms of flexibility and/or providing new opportunities, just knowing the needs will allow the organization to continue to support a leader’s success whenever possible. The promotion of open lines of communication will enable leaders to more quickly thrive in their roles, and help leaders more quickly identify when they may need to move on without languishing in their roles as they wonder whether or not to ask for support or simply leave for another company where the grass appears greener.
How are you supporting women as they rise to the top of your organization? We would love to hear what you are doing. If you are interested in speaking with us about leadership coaching and/or our Women’s Leadership Programs, please contact us.