In January of this year, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern––who was the youngest ever female head of government when she was elected in 2017, aged 37, and lauded for her proactive response to the Covid-19 pandemic––resigned from office, citing burnout, after almost six challenging years as PM.
It turns out that she’s not the only senior woman to consider a graceful exit from the workplace––nor will she be the last.
According to a 2022 Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey and LeanIn, about 10.5% of female leaders left their workplaces in 2021, compared with 9% of male leaders. The report found that for every woman at a director level who was promoted that year, two women directors left their positions.
But what’s causing the shift – and why now?
After a tougher battle to get to the front lines of business––until the so-called Marriage Bar was lifted in 1973, women in Ireland had to resign their jobs when they got married––many prejudices that faced women in the workplace then, are still alive today. For example, despite holding a 48% share of entry-level jobs, women make up a mere 26% of C-suite executive positions.
It is not as simple a reason as women dropping off along the way to switch careers, or take over the caregiving duties at home, as is often cited. In fact, one of the main issues facing women in the workplace is the so-called “broken rung”. This is a missing step at the very start of every woman’s journey up the ladder.
According to the same Women in the Workplace study, just 87 women are promoted from entry level to manager for every 100 men, meaning women can never quite catch up to level the playing field.
The pandemic hasn’t helped, either. Two years of working from home has seen a lot of women burn out and reevaluate their priorities as they strive for a better work-life balance. Months of e-learning meant that a lot of working women, used to having the majority of the childcare and home management piled at their door anyway, ended up double-jobbing. They were working 40 hours a week at their jobs, with another 30 hours of de facto homeschooling piled on top.
Burnout is, as Arden herself acknowledges, a key decision maker. In her resignation press conference, she said, “I am not leaving because it was hard […] I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple.”
The one silver lining to all of this flux, however, is that companies are learning to adapt to these priority shifts, offering true hybrid working, with the flexibility to work from home or the office. Flexible hours too, allow for childcare and family responsibilities; and workplace trends like “loud parenting” are offering working parents the chance to take a holistic approach to living, working and childcare.
If you’re finding yourself burnt out due to restrictive trends in your place of work, but you’re not quite ready to throw in the towel altogether, here are three job opportunities to explore, with many more on Inspire Careers.
Project Manager, Version 1
IT services company Version 1––leaders in implementing and supporting Oracle, Microsoft and AWS technologies––is hiring a Project Manager to join the expanding PM Capability Team in Dublin. You will come from a project management or business consulting background and have at least five years’ project management experience in large-scale systems development. See all the details of this Project Manager job plus other opportunities at Version 1 here.
HR Payroll Specialist (12-month contract), Zurich Insurance
Zurich Insurance is looking for an in-house HR Payroll Specialist to join its team in Dublin. You will be responsible for timely management of monthly in-house payrolls; providing support to the head of HR, assisting in providing management information using HR tools; and developing and maintaining relationships with customers. Three years’ experience of in-house payroll, as well as accounting and customer service experience is required. See full details of this HR Payroll Specialist job, along with other vacancies at Zurich Insurance.
Underwriting Assistant, Allianz Ireland
Allianz Ireland is recruiting an Underwriting Assistant to provide support for its team of experienced technical underwriting experts, based in Dublin. You’ll provide support to a team of underwriters by ensuring customers receive the best possible service, assisting the team with case management of renewals and new business for larger clients. Two years’ experience in general insurance is a must, along with APA or a relevant qualification. See the requirements for this Underwriting Assistant role here, as well as other opportunities at Allianz Ireland. Find your new career beginning today and explore thousands of job opportunities on Inspire Careers