Lack of career progression the number one reason women would leave a job

Lack of career progression the number one reason women would leave a job
  • 66% of women said that they would leave a job if they felt there was a lack of career progression available.
  • By contrast, 50% of women said that they would leave a job due to long working hours.

Research from specialist professional recruiter Robert Walters has revealed that a lack of career progression is the number one reason why women would consider leaving a job, with 66% saying that it would lead them to consider a new role.

The study, which surveyed over 700 professionals from a range of disciplines across the UK, revealed that a lack of career progression is more likely to lead to women leaving a role than a difficult boss (62%) or long working hours (50%).

Lucy Bisset, Associate Director at Robert Walters, comments:

“Employers are aware of the importance of developing a working culture that engages and encourages professionals to develop their careers.”

“The opportunity for career progression is the most important factor for women when considering whether or not to leave a role, ahead of working with a challenging boss or having to contend with long working hours or a poor company culture.”

“Employers looking to secure top female talent need to ensure that they communicate the opportunities for career progression they can offer throughout the recruitment process and do so in a way that demonstrates that they value inclusion.”


Despite the time pressures on many women, particularly those with children, the research also showed that women are less likely to leave a role due to having to work long hours or facing a poor work life balance.

Just 50% of women said that poor company culture or long working hours would drive them to look for opportunities elsewhere.

Lucy Bisset continues:

“Women place a high level of importance on family friendly policies and good work life balance, but it is clear that many are willing to make sacrifices in these areas in order to secure a role which can offer strong career progression.”

“Hiring managers should note that this doesn’t mean that work life balance policies should be abandoned. On the contrary, providing flexible working hours and other initiatives will play a significant role in attracting high calibre professionals and ensuring that staff are as productive as possible.”

“By combining opportunities for career development with flexible working practices employers can secure the most ambitious professionals and ensure that they perform at their best in their role.”

For further information, or a full copy of the research paper please contact Alan O’Doherty on or 020 7509 8087

About The Author


WORKSMARTPA – NEW IDEAS, NEW FRONTIERS The year 2021 sees our business celebrate 21 years of - a community supporting office professionals since our very first newsletter way back in May 2000. As we look forward to greet a new world of change beyond the pandemic, we are extremely excited to announce a new brand; a new look; and some new directions for our much loved, long-standing web site and communities to explore. It is time for change. To better reflect now what we do best for you, we have a new brand, web site and activities – a new name and web site that will be full of new ideas for a new business age and new working trends as we all seek to grow, expand and explore new frontiers.

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