Nearly half of women in middle management are likely to leave their current employer in the next two years, according to a report. Frustrated female middle managers highlight a lack of opportunities and no clarity of career path as two key reasons not to stick around.
The report, commissioned by recruitment company Alexander Mann Solutions and women-in-business specialists everywoman, interviewed 400 female middle manager from SMEs and corporates across a range of sectors. The major gripes were lack of opportunities (48 per cent), lack of progression (47 per cent) and lack of a clear career path (40 per cent). Just 11 per cent described themselves as ‘extremely satisfied’ in their job.
The findings are concerning, as just two months ago I reported on research showing a quarter of SMEs looking for directors and senior managers were actively seeking female managers. If companies are losing female talent at the middle management level, perhaps it’s no wonder there is also a severe shortage of women represented at board-level.
The report echoes findings in our feature earlier this year on women in procurement, where many women interviewed acknowledged that once they hit a certain level of seniority, the landscape changes and opportunities diminish, although many acknowledge that women needed to be more confident in their approach.
The report also recognises that women need to take responsibility for improvement and suggests the following steps to assist business in supporting its female talent:
- Focus on gender diversity
- Include female middle managers in succession planning
- Encourage female middle managers to take more responsibility for their own careers
- Extend flexible working options
- Reshape female middle managers’ relationships with senior female role models.