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Working the Future blog: our latest insights and future of work sensemaking

Revolting Women: Why Midlife Women are Walking Out and What to do About It – Lucy Ryan, 2023

2023-11-15 12:08

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Reading Room, FUTURE OF WORK, 21st CENTURY LEADERSHIP, MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKFORCE, MULTIGENERATIONAL DYNAMICS, WORKFORCE TRANSFORMATION,

Revolting Women: Why Midlife Women are Walking Out and What to do About It – Lucy Ryan, 2023

When you digest the appalling data this book sets out, it’s astonishing no one has written about this topic before. And yet Lucy Ryan’s work is seminal...

When you digest the appalling data this book sets out, it’s astonishing no one has written about this topic before. And yet Lucy Ryan’s work is seminal.

 

Every day across the UK, women aged 45 and above leave their jobs because of outdated and inflexible working conditions. Because of patriarchy, and in some cases, misogyny. This is on top of research showing how few women occupy C-suite roles to begin with.

 

Considering the combined realities of a shrinking labour market, rising pension shortfalls and an ageing population, this is hideous.

 

Considering escalating global societal and environmental issues, it’s abjectly horrifying.

 

Given the known gender differences in perspective and complex problem-solving, it’s no wonder so many UK businesses are in chaos right now. Diversity of C-suite thinking has never been more needed and more missing in tandem. This isn’t OK.

 

Revolting Women is the culmination of Lucy Ryan’s doctoral research. It provides a host of qualitative insight to explain why so many women quit senior executives roles. Caring responsibilities, health challenges, shifts in priorities and other life-changing events all impact the motivation of midlife women. Ryan explores menopause and the slow progress of organisations to adjust for this life change that affects 50% of the population.

 

Most fascinatingly, she tackles the myths of menopause and presents anecdotal evidence to showcase a powerful alternative narrative to brain-fog, fatigue and exhaustion. Ryan has interviewed a rich seam of energised and empowered, who are continuing to give their careers their all, albeit on their own terms.

 

If organisations won’t step up and offer more flexibility to women in midlife, they lose significant insight, perspective, grit and resolve. And when these women go elsewhere, they make formidable competitors. Overlook them at your peril.

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