By: Karle Stinehour
(Estimated Reading Time 5 min)
Filling knowledge gaps and building awareness in the workplace. It’s how DigitalChalk serves the small to midsized business segment. Recently, we navigated the legal and financial risks of sex-based discrimination and how to mitigate them. We also considered how gender diversity in the workplace can increase productivity. Today we conclude our brief series on gender diversity with an overview of how nurturing a gender diverse workplace can help retain your top talent.
Tenure for both men and women in the private and public sectors has decreased in recent years. In 2014, the median tenure was at 4.5 years for women, dropping down to 4.0 years in 2016. For men in that same period the tenure rates dropped from 4.7 years to 4.3 years. These rates don’t include the average tenure of younger women, which is 2.8 years (Source: News Release, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor). Though tenure rates have dropped for both men and women, the statistics continue to show the rates are consistently lower for women. Obviously, many factors contribute to these drops in retention rates: the availability of jobs, economic fluctuation between growth and recession, and the fact that sometimes employees simply aren’t the right fit for a company. Regardless of the reasons, there is a cost when a business cannot retain its employees, especially if those employees rank among the company’s top talent.
We asked DigitalChalk CEO Russ Stinehour, with 22 years of experience as a business owner, to weigh in on how devastating the loss of top talent can be to all aspects of your business.
Why is retaining top talent among female employees so challenging? Some of the typical reasons stand out. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) lists “work-life balance, maternity leave, unequal pay, and differential ambitions” as some of the typical reason that women leave employment. But Harvard Business Review also posits a nontypical, yet insightful reason why women leave the companies where they work: “the quality of day-to-day apprenticeship experience”. (Source: “How We Closed The Gap Between Men’s and Women’s Retention Rates,” Harvard Business Review)
So what does this mean? According to the Harvard Business Review, “ the working relationships of junior team members learning alongside experienced colleagues, is critical to mastering the consulting craft and succeeding in professional services.” If the day-to-day apprenticeship experience for women is somehow less satisfactory than that of men, the result could be the loss of female top talent.
To ensure a gender-diverse workplace dedicated to effective day-to-day apprenticeship, The BCG suggests the following
Retaining top talent saves you time and money, allows you to focus on selling your goods and services, and increases customer satisfaction, so obviously it ’s good for your bottom line. Additionally, in a workplace where employees feel valued for their differences and their contributions, creativity and innovation will flourish.
Let us help with some heavy lifting. The online training courses from our on-demand library can help bolster your learning and development program in this important area.