35% of female staff would leave their employer due to poor work-life balance

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Just over a third (35%) of female respondents would leave their current employer because of poor work-life balance, according to research by recruitment firm Ambition UK.

Its study, Why do women in business leave?, which surveyed 486 female employees in professional and financial services, also found that almost half (49%) of respondents cite salary as the main reason why they would leave the organisation they currently work for.

The research also found:

  • 61% of respondents would like to work flexibly.
  • 24% of respondents working in financial services would leave because of a lack of flexible working, compared to 19% of those working in professional services.
  • 44% of respondents would leave their current role because of salary and 30% would leave because of work-life balance.
  • 22% would leave their current role because of the organisation’s culture, and 36% would leave their current employer for the same reason.

Sally Clare, head of diversity services at Ambition UK, said: “Our main finding was that 62% of women would leave their organisation and/or role for career progression. This was highly significant and not what we were expecting. Many of the businesses we had spoken with assumed they were losing their women due to family circumstances or for a better work-life balance, so we expected these factors to be far more significant than they actually were.

“It was also interesting to note that the perceptions as to why female colleagues were leaving significantly differed from the reality. The women we surveyed cited family circumstances far more highly as a reason their female colleagues were leaving than they did for themselves.”