CNBC|Momentive Poll: International Women’s Day 2022

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CNBC|Momentive Poll: International Women’s Day 2022

Women who quit their jobs in the last year have seen better outcomes than those who considered quitting. See what else our research uncovered about women's experience with work.

Brianna Richardson

March 22, 2022 | 4 min read

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Key findings: 

  • Women who quit their jobs in the last year were more likely to be looking for better work/life balance than a higher salary
  • Women are still feeling burned out from work: 54% of women experienced burnout because of their job, roughly unchanged from last year
  • Ambition rebounds from last year, and remains highest for women of color
  • Young women and women of color are the groups who are most likely to report career advancements
  • Mothers with children under age 18 are more likely than women without children to have faced a career setback in the past year

Women who found new jobs were looking for work-life balance more than money

About 1 in 10 (11%) women say they’ve quit their jobs in the last 12 months. A further 2 in 10 (23%) have considered quitting, but the majority (64%) haven’t left or considered quitting their jobs. 

Women who quit were more likely to see better outcomes, compared to those who considered quitting.

  • Women who quit are far less likely to experience burnout compared with those who considered quitting (55% vs 82%)  
  • Women who quit felt more satisfied with the amount of career growth available at their current job vs. those who considered quitting (75% vs. 49%) 

Not everyone quit their job for a salary boost: 32% of women who quit say their salary is lower now than it was a year ago. In contrast, only 24% of women who considered quitting and 13% of women who didn't quit or consider quitting said they're earning less now. 

Many women still struggle with burnout

Over half (54%) of women say their mental health suffers to the point of burnout because of their job all or some of the time, roughly unchanged from last year (53%).

A quarter (24%) of women are working more hours now compared to a year ago, up from 19% last year. Just under half (46%) are working about as many hours as before, roughly on par with last year (47%). Just 20% report working fewer hours now, down from 24% last year. 

Ambition begins to rebound, remains highest for women of color

Ambition, especially among women of color, rebounds from last year, but is still below early pandemic levels. Two-thirds (66%) of Black women and 55% of Hispanic women describe themselves as “very ambitious” when it comes to their career, up from 54% and 42% in last year's poll. This continues the trend seen in previous years where women of color were more likely to identify as "very ambitious."

Overall, about half (49%) of all women describe themselves as “very ambitious” when it comes to their career, up from 42% last year. Almost all Black women (93%), Hispanic women (90%), white women (86%), and Asian women (83%) describe themselves as "somewhat" or "very ambitious.”

Young women and women of color more likely to report career advancements 

One in five women (20%) say their career has advanced in the last year, up slightly from March 2021 (14%). While 20% say their career experienced a setback in the last year, more than half (51%) say things have stayed the same. 

  • For women of color, ambition pays off: 28% of Hispanic women, 28% of Asian women, and 26% of Black women say their career advanced in the last year vs. 16% of white women and 15% of women of other races 
  • 1 in 3 young women have advanced in their career: 32% of women ages 18-34 say their career has advanced in the last year vs. 19% of those ages 35-64 and just 7% of those 65+ 

Women of color, mothers concerned that taking advantage of flexible work arrangements may impede career goals 

A full 4 in 10 (43%) women are concerned that taking advantage of flexible work arrangements at their job may prevent them from achieving career goals. This concern is up from 39% last year, but still just under the 45% benchmark from our 2020 International Women’s Day Poll (45%). 

  • Just 36% of white women have concerns over flexible work arrangements vs. 56% of Asian women, 53% of Hispanic, 51% of Black women and 49% of women of other races
  • 52% of mothers with children under 18 years have concerns over flexible work arrangements (vs. 42% of women with no children and 37% of women with children age 18+) 
  • Mothers with children under 18 have more concerns over flexible work arrangements than fathers with children under 18 (52% vs 44%). 

Men are more likely to describe the workplace as representative and diverse

Men are more likely than women to say their organization’s leadership is representative in terms of gender. 

  • 66% say men and women are equally represented among senior leaders in their organization compared with 58% of women 
  • 24% of women say men are over-represented among senior leaders compared with 21% of men 
  • 14% of women say women are over-represented among senior leaders compared with just 8% of men who say the same 

Men are also more likely than women to say their organization is more diverse than it was three years ago (37% vs. 29%). The majority of adults overall (52%) say their organization is about as diverse as it was three years ago.

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