If Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Corporate Effectiveness Will Suffer | Wall Street Journal

Workforce Trends

Covid-19 continues to force many women to leave or consider leaving their jobs. As mentioned in my recent post on Lean In’s and McKinsey’s Women in The Workplace 2020 report, 1-in-4 women is considering downshifting (working in a reduced capacity) their careers or leaving the workforce due to the pandemic. In a new study by Fidelity Investments, nearly 4-in-10 working women (39%) are actively considering leaving the workforce or reducing their hours due to increased remote schooling and caregiving responsibilities. Also, in the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report, nearly 80% of the 1.1 million workers who dropped out of the workforce in September were women. Although the impact of women leaving the workforce will have several implications for years to come, this Wall Street Journal article emphasizes the impact this trend will have on company performance. Based on an analysis of over 600 largely publicly traded companies, the article highlights how firms in the highest quartile in each of five performance categories (customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility, and financial strength) have a far greater concentration of top women executives than those in the lowest quartile. The article notes, “all of this suggests that companies would be wise to reach out to the women who work for them and find more ways to be supportive during this difficult time. Otherwise, the leaks in the talent pipeline may flood every dimension of corporate performance.” Please note that you may need a WSJ subscription to access the article.

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