At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, women forged a new path of work outside of the home.
Fast forward to today: Women still juggle the demands of work and home with the challenges of feeling overworked and underappreciated in the workplace. Workplace culture and the blurry blend of work and home life — all exacerbated by COVID-19 — drove us to rethink our sense of purpose. The Great Resignation was born.
As more women pursue their calling over their careers, how do we define the role of work in our lives and the expectations of what work can do for us? With an answer to this question, we can develop a path toward purpose that allows us to find both the peace and progress we deserve.
There are more job openings today than the U.S. has seen in decades — almost four million people quit their jobs in 2021. While some of this is a result of closed businesses, many of these “quitters” are taking the opportunity to pursue their dreams, spend time with family, and connect with their communities.
For women specifically, the numbers are even more shocking, with minority groups feeling the hardest impact. Among the two million women who left their jobs during the pandemic, 52% have experienced microaggression or harassment in the workplace. With Latina mothers 1.6 times more likely, and Black mothers twice more likely, than White mothers to be responsible for all childcare and housework, the chance for women to create their own success is long overdue.
With so many women leaving their jobs, what’s the straw that broke the camel’s back?
It’s not always about the money. Toxic corporate culture is ten times more likely to contribute to resignation than employee compensation. Failure to promote inclusion, equity, and diversity; unethical behavior; and disrespect — these feed into a toxic environment.
For many women, the decision to leave is driven by a desire for change. 56% of women say they’ve considered a career change during the pandemic — more than double the number just two years prior.
We think the Great Resignation could be called the Great Wakeup Call, with family life, community enrichment, and entrepreneurship at the forefront. The 9-to-5 no longer comes with a sense of purpose, and while many companies blame COVID-19 for workforce loss, the truth is the foundation of this resignation wave was built before the pandemic.
We’d love to go on about the millions of women who are redefining their success in their pursuit toward purpose… but here are just three.
We interviewed Cara Sabin, CEO of Sundial Brands, on the eighth episode of our podcast, Aligning Your Passions Across Your Life. Sabin began her career serving in various management positions in prestige beauty, leading Global Marketing for Clinique’s $1B Makeup and Fragrance portfolio, and marketing for NARS Cosmetics’ Americas business. Her entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in the many projects she takes on and the success she finds as a result.
As an ‘intrapreneur,’ Sabin serves as the Vice Chair of the Minority Alumni Advisory Board for Duke University’s Fuqua’s School of Business, Co-founder of 25 Black Women in Beauty, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Sabin found her calling. She developed her network, which allowed her to pursue her passions and achieve great success in her personal brand — success that spans across her industry and beyond.
Not long ago, Bola Sokunbi was earning a comfortable salary and dreaming of full-time entrepreneurship. When she took that first leap of faith and reduced her hours to dip her toes in entrepreneur life, it clicked. This was her purpose.
Sokunbi became a small business owner full-time and never looked back. Founder of Clever Girl Finance, she’s passionate about helping women take control of their finances. “I wanted to do something that really mattered to me and wanted to live life on my own terms. I also knew that being a small business owner would remove the income-earning cap I had as a full-time employee … It takes hard work and tenacity, but you can succeed if you try.”
Yetunde Fadeyi began her career studying Chemistry at the University of Ibadan with a job in a similar field. A victim of environmental crises in Nigeria, she realized how important it was to stir discussion and action — and thus revealed her calling.
“I enrolled for a Masters programme in Energy and Environment in 2017 to acquire in-depth knowledge about this field and international exposure, but funding was a huge barrier. Today, … I have mentored youths, illuminated communities, provided solutions and trained a team of hundreds who provide out-of-the-box entrepreneurial solutions to environmental and energy challenges in communities across Nigeria.”
She is the Founder of Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability Initiative for Africa (REES Africa), a youth-led non-profit initiative, advocates for environmental sustainability across all target audiences, and provides renewable energy access for rural and marginalized communities.
As women find their sense of purpose and identify the positive change this realization brings, the Great Resignation is less of an economy-crashing nightmare and instead a renaissance, symbolizing a realization of greater potential.
At She-Suite, we use “Purpose Pathing”, coined by our Founder, Melissa Dawn Simkins, to define leaders aligning their calling and their careers. Through serving as mentors in their industries and contributing to their communities, these women leaders have actualized their purpose and ultimately improved their own well-being. The benefit is efficiencies in time and focused energy that drive engagement and fulfillment.
Purpose is defined as a central, self-organizing life aim that organizes and stimulates goals, manages behaviors, and provides a sense of meaning. It sustains productivity, happiness, creativity, and the discovery and implementation of societal advancements. With purpose, we thrive.
Develop your own purpose path and chase it with everything you’ve got. As executives like those at The Business Roundtable redefine the purpose of today’s corporation, it’s our job to reexamine the way purpose shapes the employee experience. Through purpose pathing, we can work toward our calling — and our careers, well-being, and community will all benefit.
To learn more, we invite you to join the She-Suite community and find company among like-minded, purpose-driven women.
Rethink the Great Resignation. A cultural revolution is happening as you read this. Seize the moment — find your calling!