For working women, juggling a career with the responsibilities of a home and children -- not to mention fighting against bias and discrimination -- can make advancement a secondary priority. Making sure women and all workers, for that matter, have a clear path for career advancement as well as regular performance reviews and feedback can increase both retention and engagement, says ABI's Elizabeth Ames.
"One of the main reasons women don't return to work after having children or after another major life event is the feeling that they're not accomplishing goals, or that their contributions aren't recognized or appreciated," Ames says. "One of the questions so many women ask themselves is, 'Am I truly engaged at my job? Am I making a difference? Where am I going in this job, or in this career?' and if they don't have a concrete answer, it sometimes makes more sense for them to drop out."
Add in the high cost of childcare and lack of family support and paid leave, and it's a recipe for low engagement, poor retention rates and high turnover. Ensuring career-path transparency, necessary steps for promotion and advancement as well as continuous feedback can help address these issues, she says.