37% of UK working women are planning on, or have already, changing their job due to COVID-19

Openly greeting a job recruiter with a firm handshake, recruitment industry, new role

37 per cent of working women in the UK are planning on, or have already, changing their job as a direct result of the pandemic, according to new research.

The survey, conducted by Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo, also found that over half of working women in the UK are looking for better work/life balance in their careers. In fact, 59 per cent of women surveyed stated that a good work/life balance was more important than salary.

The research, conducted in partnership with 3GEM, surveyed working women in the UK to understand the challenges they face in workplace and what they’re looking for from an ideal career.

For 38 per cent of working women, the pandemic has changed how they feel about their career, with 15 per cent feeling more negative about their role. Given this it’s unsurprising that 37 per cent have either started a new job or are planning on starting a new job/business as a direct result of the pandemic.

One of the biggest requirements women are looking for in any new role is flexible working hours, with 69 per cent listing it as one of the top three things they look for. After work/life balance and flexible working hours, women listed remote working options, and support for mental health and wellbeing as the next highest priority items from their workplace or role.

The pandemic has further highlighted the ongoing challenges women face juggling childcare and work responsibilities. Worryingly, 37 per cent are frustrated that they have had to sacrifice salary and career progression to ensure work/life balance in bringing up a family, whilst 31 per cent worry that by working from home more to manage childcare responsibilities they will miss out on promotion opportunities.

These findings come just days after it was revealed that 96 per cent of British parents felt the government isn’t supporting them enough with childcare. The survey of over 20,000 parents in the UK, run by Mumsnet in partnership with a coalition of parenting and campaigning groups, revealed a sobering insight into the catastrophic impacts of childcare costs on the lives of parents and their children.

Speaking about the findings, Christie Day, Group Event Director at Hub Exhibitions said, “After an extremely challenging 18 months for everyone, we’re currently undergoing what economists have dubbed the Great Resignation, as millions of people leave their current jobs for something new.”

“For many women this decision to move roles has been triggered by a lack of flexibility and support by their employers.”

“If business leaders want to secure the best talent during this period of movement, they must learn from the pandemic so far and really listen to what women need.”

“With Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo we want to empower people to take action in reaching their professional goals, put them in front of progressive companies committed to DEI for recruitment opportunities, and provide a platform to make strategic connections for business growth.”

13/09/2021-14/09/2021: Karren Brady’s Women in Business Expo

Women in Business & Tech Expo is a two-day virtual event designed for all women at any stage of their career. It provides inspiration, guidance and business services to find a perfect career match or support a business.

Women in Business Expo
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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