America is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't have paid maternity leave by law. This might make you think that women who choose to have a family would be inclined to leave their jobs in search of one that offers parental leave. But a recent study by Harvard Business Review found that most women in their thirties are actually leaving their jobs to make more money elsewhere.
The survey was based on 300 people worldwide between the ages of 22 and 35. Sixty-five percent of women said finding a job that pays more was the main reason they left their job, versus 56% of men. Starting a family actually ranked fifth among women for why they left their jobs. Surprisingly, the top reason men put for leaving a job was lack of opportunity in the role, with salary ranking second.
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However, both men and women listed "The work here is not as interesting and meaningful as I would like" as a top five reason for leaving a job. Overall, most of their top five answers overlapped. As the author of the study, Christine Hunter Arscott, said in a press release:
"Gender appears to have little impact on an individual's reasons for leaving an organization. This is good news for organizational leaders. By implementing strategies and programs informed by the needs and desires of women, leaders will simultaneously be addressing what matters most to broader talent pools, men included."
According to the study, the most crucial thing to remember for companies who want to retain female employees is that leadership should ask women what they want and need out of their jobs rather than just assuming.