The ABA spent two years studying women's decisions to leave large firms and compiled their findings into the report Walking Out The Door. This report compares perspectives from men, women, and managing partners and aims to reveal answers in three focus areas:
- Everyday experiences that contribute to success for women and men
- Reasons why women stay vs leave
- What is working vs not working in regards to advancing women
While it's not surprising that parental responsibilities are a significant factor influencing women's decisions, what is most revealing about this report is that it is a small part of a much larger picture of gender bias in firms. The authors compare it to "death by a thousand cuts." The lack of access to business development, significant senior female role models, and advancement opportunities in big firms are also discussed as having a significant impact on women in large firms.
At 20 pages long, the report is an insightful window into what is happening behind the scenes before women choose to leave, and why firms might be missing the mark on getting them to stay. It concludes with concrete action steps for positive change and is well worth the read.
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