Women and attrition

Women and attritionAttrition or the gradual reduction in the number of employees is one of the biggest hurdles for the progress of an organization across industries. This may be attributed to voluntary or involuntary causes. Experts managing attrition in some organizations indicate that attrition is gender specific and that the churn rate among female employees is less as compared to their male counterparts.

An HR Executive working in an MNC informs, “Results of our exit interviews show a slightly lower attrition rate as far as female employees are concerned. This can be attributed to the fact that women who are used to working in a particular company for long generally do not quit for a marginal salary hike or a better position. They value working conditions, supportive colleagues, culture and the HR policies of the organization more than the material benefits. They seem to be more sincere and loyal to the organization as well. On the other hand men may switch over to a new company simply for a better pay package or for further education.”

The Indian societal make-up is such that many times women working in corporates are forced to sacrifice their professional lives for the sake of their families. A female executive who opted for a break recently confirms this fact. She says, “The primary reasons for women professionals to leave their jobs include childcare or ailing parents or in- laws who may need their full-time attention. Sometimes issues with their colleagues or managers also prompt them to move out. Employees of lower age group quit on grounds of marriage when they have to relocate to a new city. Often the social stigma associated with working in certain sectors like BPOs forces them to opt out.”

However there is the other side of the story as well. An employee working in an R& D centre in Bangalore points out that many of her female colleagues have moved out for pursuing doctoral degrees from prestigious universities abroad. This of course highlights the fact that it is not that women are not ambitious or career oriented. While some of them surely fall prey to family circumstances, others face them tactfully and reach top positions. After all, times are changing for the better.

All said and done, a high attrition level be it due to male or female employees, is harmful for the organization. It is the responsibility of the organisation to devise employee friendly policies to keep away from this growing problem.


- Ranjita Chattopadhyay (views expressed in the article are that of the author)