Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
The only descriptive word to mark a trend that may be more overused than “quiet” right now—think quiet quittingquiet firing, even “quiet fleecing”—is “great.” Amid all the names for the “Great Resignation”—the Great Reshuffle, the Great Re-Invention, the Great Relocation—we now have the Great Layoff (seriously?) and what McKinsey and call the “ Great Breakup.”
As senior contributor Kim Elsesser writes, this isn’t about senior women quitting or exiting the workforce. It’s about moving to companies that share their values—prioritizing career advancement, supporting flexibility and work-life balance and emphasizing diversity and inclusion.
While this many seem like just another name for the Great Resignation, McKinsey and LeanIn’s research is interesting because it reminds us that people aren’t just changing jobs for better pay elsewhere; they’re actively leaving organizations they don’t align with anymore—even in a worsening economy. It’s little surprise this is happening as more workplaces compel employees to come back to the office—the survey, for instance, finds that while nearly 20% of men want to work primarily on-site, just 10% of women, who often play the default role of primary caregivers, feel the same.
Such trends have lasting impact. If fewer women are stepping into a company’s leadership ranks, they’ll have fewer shots to reach the highest rungs. My colleague Maggie McGrath—see the featured story below—recently found that there are just three all-female CEO-CFO duos running the 500 largest U.S. public companies, following the news that GSK had named Burberry executive Julie Brown as its new chief financial officer, joining CEO Emma Walmsley in GSK’s C-suite.
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