Often, women feel that they have to work harder and be better at their roles than men to be recognized. Most women find that their career development is more difficult because of the sole fact that they are a woman. With this fact, on top of the pandemic, women feel like they live to work rather than work to live.
During this post-pandemic area, women are being told that they have all of the same opportunities as men, but this has not been true and as we’ve seen repeated time and time again. The idea that women can have it all in their careers while balancing family life is more of an aspiration rather than a reality.
What should women do? The first step is knowing whether you’re working for the right company—for your career and personal goals. We’ve rounded up 11 questions that all women should ask themselves if they should stay at their current employer or if it’s time to go.
11 questions all women should ask themselves before quitting their jobs
1. do I see myself working for my employer for at least three more years?
A majority (68%) of employed women say they see continuing to work for their current employer for another three years. Still, only half (51%) feel motivated to achieve the next position in their career at their current employer. If you see yourself staying at your current company for over three years and growing within those three years, staying could be your option.
2. is my salary comparable with others who have similar responsibilities in the organization?
Are you being paid fairly? Internal salary comparisons can help you assess if you have any potential issues with pay inequities or salary compression. If someone in the same position with the same qualifications is making more than you, you should be asking yourself and the company why? Is there another company that would give you the same wage?
While many pay comparisons focus on the base salary, they can also include other pay elements as well, including bonuses and incentive pay vehicles.
3. do I trust my employer to be fair?
This is an essential question to ask yourself. It’s essential that you trust your employer and that your employer trusts you. Half of women employees think their employer would trust them to be productive while working flex hours indefinitely (49%) or from home indefinitely (48%). Especially women employed part-time are more likely to say their employer would not trust them to work from home indefinitely (26% vs 18% full-time).
It’s important to be able to trust your employer that they will be fair to you. Having that security of knowing that you aren't uneasy with your bosses or feel like they have it out for you is important for a healthy workplace and for your own mental health.
4. is the leadership team open and transparent in its communications with employees?
If you ask employees which work topics they care most about, transparency in their organization’s leadership will likely be near the top of their list. There should be no surprises. Concerns around uncertainty and some wishy-washy behaviour from management will leave any employee feeling uncertain and lost.
Transparency in the workplace should strive to practice what management preaches, set crystal-clear expectations, and communicate effectively with every team member.
5. do I feel motivated to achieve the next position in my career at my current employer?
It’s always important to feel motivated at work and, more specifically, have the motivation to achieve the next position in your career :
- A majority (68%) of women say they see continuing to work for their current employer for another three years.
- Still, only half (51%) feel motivated to achieve the next position in their career at their current employer.
- Nearly half (47%) of employed women under age 25 feel they have to work harder and be better than men to get recognition.
If you feel motivated to move into a new position, is that position at your current company, or is that position somewhere else? It’s something important to ask yourself so that you can have a clear vision of where you want to go and make a plan of how to get there.
6. do people from diverse backgrounds and with various identities have equitable opportunities to advance their careers at my current employer?
When it comes to promotion, a quarter (24%) of employed women say they have a clear understanding of the criteria that are used for evaluation for a promotion. Four in ten (39%) say they have a general sense of the criteria used, whereas one in five (20%) say it is unclear what the criteria are. One in five (17%) say they have no idea.
- Do you see a diverse range of people being promoted or advancing in their careers in your workplace? Think about some people you’ve known in your company who have recently been promoted.
- Are they women?
- Are they people of colour?
- Are they women of colour?
It’s something to take a step back and think about.
7. do I feel safe to be my authentic self at my employer?
Employees, especially women, have very different expectations of their leaders than they did a decade ago. They want to work for someone they feel they know well and trust. Employees don’t expect perfection—they expect honesty and openness.
Especially now that the lines between people’s private and professional lives are blurred with working from home, you can’t get away with putting on a different persona for work. Plus, not being your authentic self can be exhausting and not good for your mental health. You should be able to want to connect with other colleagues and managers in a meaningful way.
8. do the people I work with recognize what I bring to the organization?
Feeling unappreciated at work can mean more than not getting enough pats on the back from your boss or someone saying thank you. Being undervalued at work can also mean being underpaid, not getting raises, not receiving credit for your work and a lack of promotion or growth opportunities.
Do your colleagues and managers respect you and recognize what you bring to the organization and your role? If you’re dealing with a toxic workplace and not getting the respect you deserve, it’s okay to look at other options. Or maybe you’ve outgrown where you’re at right now, and that’s okay too. Being unhappy and feeling overlooked isn’t something you should feel at your workplace.
9. do I feel a sense of belonging at my employer?
Studies show that feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace leads to more than just good times and friendships. Belonging allows you to feel like you can be your authentic selves without fear of different treatment or punishment—and it has a significant impact on your performance and retention.
If you don’t feel a sense of belonging at your place of work, the chances are that you eventually leave that job. So take some time and figure out if it's just the company you don’t feel a sense of belonging to or the occupation. You should always feel a sense of belonging and a team spirit at your place of work.
10. does my employer provide a safe space to discuss topics that impact my life, such as parental responsibilities, mental health, racism, discrimination, etc.?
Think about whether your current employer promotes an open dialogue about topics that impact your life. Are there honest conversations about parental responsibilities, mental health, racism, discrimination etc., at your place of work?
Leadership starts at the top, so what are the executives talking about and prompting with your company. Is this something that provides you with a safe space, or do you feel uncomfortable having these difficult discussions with your current employer? Your workplace should be somewhere where you feel safe.
11. are promotion and advancement opportunities awarded to the most qualified employee?
Did you know that less than half of employed women (47%) agree that promotion and advancement opportunities are awarded to the most qualified person? If you also feel this way, you’re not alone. Nearly half of employed women (46%) say they have been passed over for a promotion they asked or applied for, and up to 63% among women of colour.
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