Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
They're calling it the "Great Breakup." Women leaders, already in short supply at most U.S. companies, were more likely than men to switch jobs in 2021, according to a closely watched new report released Tuesday.
Why it matters: A better job market and more opportunities for flexible work arrangements made women less likely to put up with mistreatment in the workplace last year, say the authors of the report, from McKinsey and LeanIn.org, the women's empowerment group founded by former Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.
By the numbers: An eye-popping 10.5% of women leaders — from senior managers all the way up to the C-suite — quit their jobs over the past year, the highest rate in the five years that McKinsey/LeanIn.org has surveyed companies about attrition rates. The rate for men was 9%.
State of play: The report draws attention to the "broken rung" concept as a problem area for companies — that's the gap in the share of women elevated into management relative to men.
Between the lines: Women are just as ambitious as men. Black women leaders even more so — 59% said they want to be top executives, compared to 41% of women of color and 27% of white women.
The problem: Womens' authority at work is undermined in a variety of ways — so they leave, the report finds. For example:
Methodology: For the report, which focuses mostly on white-collar workers, the researchers looked at 333 companies in the U.S. and Canada, which submitted data on promotions and attrition.
The bottom line: This report adds more evidence to dispel the notion that women dropped out of the workforce or "leaned out" because of the pressures of the pandemic.