April 28, 2022

Concerns of safety and inclusivity are prompting one-half of the workforce to reconsider their current employment situation.

Nicole Stempak

The workforce may soon be facing another shakeup.

A majority of female workers (53%) say their stress levels are higher than they were a year ago, and almost half feel burned out, according to a new report from Deloitte. In fact, burnout is the main driver for nearly 40% of women who are actively looking for a new job.

“The number of women reporting increased stress and burnout is of significant concern, and employers are struggling to address it as seen by the fact that burnout is the top driver for those women currently looking for new employment,” said Emma Codd, Deloitte Global Inclusion Leader, in a statement. “The findings of this research show the importance of actions beyond policy—those that truly address and embed wellbeing, flexibility, and a respectful and inclusive ‘everyday culture’.”

Deloitte’s report, “Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook,” is especially concerning given the shift in work arrangements and rise in hybrid work in the last two years.

Other noteworthy findings:

  • Almost half of women surveyed rated their mental health as poor or very poor.
  • One-third have taken time off work because of their mental health, though only 43% of those reported feeling comfortable talking about mental health concerns in the workplace.
  • More than half of female workers plan to leave their employer in the next two years, a trend that is more pronounced for those in middle management and non-managerial roles.
  • Only 10% of female workers plan to stay with their current employer for more than five years.
  • Of those who have left an employer since the start of the pandemic, the most cited reason (at 22%) was because of a lack of opportunities to advance.
  • Only one-third of women reported their employers offer flexible working policies.
  • Startlingly, 94% of women think requesting flexible working arrangements will affect their likelihood of promotion.
  • Nearly 60% of women who work hybrid feel they have been excluded from important meetings, and 45% say they do not have enough exposure to leaders.
  • Roughly one in four (26%) of hybrid workers say their employer has set clear expectations for how and where they are expected to work, which could cause additional stress from an unpredictable schedule for women with caregiving responsibilities.

Deloitte surveyed 5,000 women in 10 countries and sectors between November 2021 and February 2022. The survey asked about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the state of gender equality in the workplace. Each respondent answered a series of questions about their work, their work’s impact on their personal life and how their employer is supporting their career progression and well-being.