49% of female executives considered quitting their jobs last year—for these 5 reasons

Good morning,

Women in revenue-generating roles are eyeing the door over compensation and work-life balance issues, and also sexual harassment.

The national nonprofit Women in Revenue has more than 6,000 members representing fields such as financial services, revenue operations, professional services, technology, and marketing and business services. Members range in experiences levels from CEOs to general and administrative (G&A) functions in finance, HR and IT, for example.

About 38% of all women, and 49% of executive women, considered quitting their job in 2021, according to the organization’s survey of over 2,400 respondents in revenue-generating roles. About 8% of women, overall, and more than 15% in the technology industry did quit in 2021.

The report highlights five issues women in revenue say they are facing today: compensation transparency, community support, work flexibility, the impact of the Great Resignation, and sexual harassment.

“The data shows that sexual harassment is fairly consistent across seniority levels,” Deanna Ransom, executive director of Women in Revenue, told me. “Approximately 20% of women in all seniority levels named sexual harassment as one of their top challenges,” Ransom says. “I think this indicates that it’s a persistent, pervasive issue for women no matter how high in an organization you go.”

Seniority LevelSexual Harassment as a top challenge
Emerging Leaders22.0%
Individual Contributors20.9%

“In our research, sexual harassment rose to the top for women of color,” Ransom says. “That indicates a systemic perception of vulnerability towards underrepresented women. It points to a need for more inclusive and diverse policies and practices.” About 29% of Hispanic/Latina women, 27% of Native American women, and 25% of Black women listed sexual harassment as a top challenge, compared to 21% for all respondents, according to the report.

Deanna Ransom, executive director of Women in Revenue (WIR)/ Courtesy of WIR

I asked Ransom if this is occurring in both in-person and virtual environments. “We didn’t ask a specific question about virtual harassment,” she told me. “But the vast majority of respondents said they have been working virtually over the past year, so it’s safe to say this is occurring in both virtual and in-person environments.”

It’s 2022, yet companies are still allowing this to happen. Why? “Too many companies designate sexual harassment as an HR or a DEI issue,” Ransom says. “It’s a business issue. It’s not something that can be fixed with a ‘one-and-done’ training.”

Some best practices for companies include enforcing policies for an inclusive work environment along with no tolerance policies for sexual harassment, creating safe channels to report inappropriate behavior, and ongoing training and programs that increase allyship, she says.

Also, in regard to equality, compensation is a major concern for the survey respondents. About 52% said transparent compensation information is the most important consideration when evaluating a job offer. Any advice?

“First, do the research for your role,” Ransom says. “Arm yourself to confidently negotiate and advocate for yourself as part of the process. There’s a lot of salary data out there on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor. Be open. Talk to others including men and women and lock down the market range compensation.”

Another practice is to “find ways to create an overall package that’s right for you including salary, bonus, equity, benefits, as well as career path,” she says. And “always be prepared to walk away from an opportunity that is not mutually beneficial.”

Ransom adds that companies need to do their part as well. “We advocate for companies to publish salary ranges and stay in the range for all candidates regardless of their previous compensation or their stated salary requirements,” she says. “If you are willing to hire someone for a role, you should be willing to pay what that role is worth to the business. Period.”

See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

ABBYY, a software company, released its global survey on April 7. Over the last two years, 45% of IT decision-makers have implemented three to four automation projects, according to the report. Document-centric and process automation have been the two most implemented technologies. About 44% said prior success in automation spurred a further increase. And 41% of respondents expect the upgrades to increase return on investment (ROI). The findings are based on a survey of 1,208 IT decision-makers across the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, and Japan, conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of ABBYY. 

Courtesy of ABBYY

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—Nomura Chief U.S. economist Robert Dent sees the potential for a "mild recession," as told to Yahoo Finance Live.  

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