Study forecasts ‘unprecedented mobility’ for female employees

HR departments are being urged to develop gender-specific career development plans following the results of a survey of business women

Study forecasts ‘unprecedented mobility’ for female employees

London Business School is forecasting “unprecedented mobility” for women in the workplace following the results of a study they conducted of almost 2,000 business women.

We already know that women are more likely than men to change their careers, and now the school’s study shows 59% are expecting to have four or more careers throughout their lifetimes.

The results correlate with existing stereotypes about gendered behavior at work, said Nigel Nicholson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. “Men change rapidly and then settle down to career stability; women are more liable to keep moving throughout their careers,” he said. “Different attitudes to careers accompany this pattern… Women are more apt to consider at any point, how does this fit with who I am and how I feel? Hence they are more liable to switch.”

Meanwhile, London Business School’s Director of Learning Solutions, Adam Kingl, said it was a wake-up call to employers to reimagine the value proposition, blaming the lack of clear promotions and development plans in many cases.

“We are looking at a future where top talent fully expects the number of employers they will have to enter double figures,” he said.

According to the school’s research:

  • 59% of women expect to have four or more careers, and 40% of those expect to shift at least seven times

  • 72% of women would relocate for a year or more to improve their promotion prospects

  • However, 70% would feel anxious about taking a career break

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