Since March of 2021, record numbers of people have quit their jobs in what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” forcing employers to re-think working conditions, wages, and benefits in order to retain their existing workforces and attract new hires. Notably, in a survey of 4,500 women, consultancy Bain and Company has found that only one-quarter of women feel fully included in their workplaces.
At a time when people are willing to leave long-term employment in search of better options, engagement and retention have become more important than ever. Bain’s study, “The Fabric of Belonging: How to Weave an Inclusive Culture”, surveyed 10,000 individuals across diverse industries and demographic backgrounds, in seven countries, at all levels of seniority, to unpack what makes employees feel included. The goal was to take a closer look at diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) factors and how they have impacted retention.
"Inclusion is one of the most important factors in hiring, engaging and retaining women in the workplace," said Bianca Bax, Partner in Bain’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practice. "To weather the impacts of the Great Resignation, it is critical for employers to get a deep understanding of their organization's talent, in this case women, by listening to their stories and incorporating the nuances to increase their feelings of inclusion and, in turn, enabling them to thrive."
According to Bain’s research, women who feel fully included are more than ten times more likely to be promoters of their companies - as opposed to women who feel excluded at work, who are three times more likely to quit. The report suggests that organizations can turn the tide of resignations by focusing on c-level commitments to improve DEI, understanding intersectionality, and focusing on behaviors that increase inclusion for women.
As employers continue to fight a rising tide of resignations amidst an ever-tightening labor market, making the workplace a welcoming place that values the unique contributions of all grows ever more crucial to attracting and retaining top talent.