Are women really more critical than men?

gender balanceFor three years in a row we have observed an unusual statistic in our annual exit interview industry update report. During those three years, women have been more critical of their employers than male counterparts. In our most recent analysis, women assessed their employers more critically on nine out of the twelve factors in our survey and this difference was statistically significant on three of those factors.


Is this a new finding? No, we first explored gender differences in exit interview results back in February 2012 and found a similar pattern of results. . However, if our clients were not standing up and taking notice of the finding back then, they definitely ought to now since the finding has clearly been replicated over a number of years.


 Are women naturally more critical or is something else going on?


Are women naturally more critical or is something else going on? Back in 2012 when we first encountered this result we were initially surprised but as we talked it over it began to make sense. There is a range of evidence suggesting that women encounter additional challenges in the workplace that are simply not an issue for men. Challenges such as pay equity and workplace discrimination are commonly experienced throughout Australia so much so that the Workplace Gender Equality Agency has been set up to help companies address these systemic issues.


In our experience, most large companies are already trying all of the standard interventions to address gender based Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) challenges. Most companies have already introduced pay equity analyses, improved recruitment processes and flexible working arrangements policies. However, we would suggest that it’s the indirect discrimination challenges that are often the hardest issues to identify and address. One way of identifying potential areas of indirect discrimination would be to review employee attitudes within exit interviews in the same way that we have done with our industry update report.


Interested in finding out exactly which nine factors women assessed more critically than men? Maybe you’re also interested in which factors were significantly different from a statistical perspective? Unfortunately, you will have to purchase a copy of our Industry Update Report to find out. Alternatively, why not engage us to develop a tailored retention strategy for your business?


To find out more about our latest Industry Update Report please click on the following link:

To order a copy of the report simply call us on (02) 8061-3918 or drop us a line at [email protected]

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3 thoughts on “Are women really more critical than men?”

  1. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that women feel constrained to say anything whilst employed but not once they’ve made the decision or else are just more likely to leave for non-monetary factors than men, which probably predisposes them more to the kinds of questions about culture, environment, leadership, teamwork and values etc that typically pop up in exit surveys. Without wanting to generalise in the absence of data, I also wonder if men, having decided to leave for financial reasons, may not be as concerned about the environmental factors (perhaps disposing them to gloss over related questions).

    It would be interesting to see the gender split on financial indicator/s and then see if that correlated to the environmental indicators.

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