‘Toxic culture’, not glass ceiling, is the reason for senior women leaving corporate roles, finds Corporate Crossovers


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A survey of 300 female entrepreneurs shows the main reason they leave corporate jobs is that they are fed up with the toxic culture, and not with the glass ceiling.

Almost a quarter of participants (23%) cite the culture and values clash as their main reason for leaving, while less than 1% identify the glass ceiling, according to Corporate Crossovers.

Of the 68% of women who earn less than when they were in corporate employment, almost two thirds say they would not go back to corporate life even though they are unhappy with their current income level.

The survey was conducted online and results analysed by Wendy Kerr, a business specialising in advising women who leave the corporate world to run their own business.

Commenting on the findings, Kerr said: "At a certain stage in their lives, women realise that the traditional work in corporate environments doesn't work for them any more. They are tired of putting up with the toxic culture and they start to disengage, valuing their time and autonomy above their salary and job. This is the catalyst for them to leave and set up their own enterprises.

"'What has surprised me about these results is how strongly this theme has played out. Even if they were offered more money to get a corporate job again, most of them would not accept, preferring control of their future, their time and their environment over the cash."

Survey participant Trisha Proud, managing partner at consultancy Partners in Solutions, added: "After a hugely successful career I decided to leave and set up my own business because I was fed up and disappointed at people not 'walking the talk' when it came to managing people and truly honouring the values that they regularly spoke about, but didn't necessarily live and breathe on a day-to-day basis. After six years of trading I have no regrets."

Other survey participants echoed this theme. One commented: "There was a disconnect between my values and the corporate world's values' and another said, "I got tired of wasting time on political activity versus actually doing the job."


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