Why Millennial Women Are Fleeing the Workforce

There’s an unfortunately common trend occurring among millennial women in the workplace, and it’s that we’re burning out (aka leaving our professional lives behind) faster than our male counterparts. A recent article from Fast Company reveals that the reason behind this isn’t what you might expect: A McKinsey study discovered that only 11% of women are permanently leaving jobs to have children. Though child-bearing doesn’t seem to be a factor, the same study shows that women account for 53% of corporate entry-level jobs but only hold 37% of mid-management roles and even less, 26%, when you climb higher up the corporate ladder to vice presidents and senior managers. These statistics may suggest that women are working really hard without the probability of the same reward, and holding very high expectations that may never be met. That being said, the burnout by age 30 makes sense.

Another explanation stems from the over-connectivity expected by employers in this age of technology. Checking and responding to emails from bed, answering to the companies’ needs on weekends and during off-duty hours, and being unable to set boundaries—it can be harder for young women to say no, for fear of replacement—aren’t sustainable. Keeping up with this pace doesn’t allow for proper rest and renewal and, in turn, causes women to flee their roles in the corporate world. This coupled with an uncertain future or career path (see the statistics above) makes it easier for the cycle of this trend to continue.

Find a few other reasons millennial women are burning out on Fast Company, and if you’re feeling like you’re burning the candle at both ends, download The Positive Psychology Podcast to help you rediscover the good life.

Do you agree with these reasons for women fleeing the workforce? Why do you think this is happening? Let us know in the comments below.