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Why Women Job Hop More Than Men

Source  | FastCompany : By Vivian Giang

Just how much are people job hopping? New LinkedIn data says workers who graduated between 2006 and 2010 have about 2.85 jobs each in the five years after college. Based on data pulled from 3 million U.S. member profiles, LinkedIn found:

  • The rate of job hopping in the five years after college has nearly doubled over the last 20 years.
  • Job hopping is most common in the media and entertainment, professional services, and government/education/nonprofit industries and least common in the oil and energy, manufacturing, and aero/auto/transport industries.
  • Women job hop more than men, and the gap is widening.

Whether you blame job hopping on startup culture or the end of job security, young people who job hop isn’t a new thing. But LinkedIn’s data interestingly shows that women have steadily job hopped at a higher rate than men since 1986. In the five years following graduation for those who completed college between 2006 and 2010, women held three jobs compared to men’s 2.71 jobs. For those who graduated between 1986 and 1990, women held 1.64 jobs in the five years after college, compared to men’s 1.57 jobs.

So why are women more prone to job hopping?

LinkedIn’s in-house economist, Guy Berger, tellsFast Company that more research is needed to answer that question, but it probably isn’t because women are trying to balance work-life, as LinkedIn’s data examined recent grads who likely aren’t thinking about balancing a family life yet. Berger did say that more women tend to work in industries that experience the highest job hopping.

That in itself is the paradox. Are women switching jobs frequently, leading to specific industries having higher turnover, or are specific industries contributing to women’s increasing need to switch jobs?

Interestingly, looking back on history, women have always seemed comfortable jumping from job to job. According to a 1982 paper from Stanford titled “The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy,” one-quarter of women over 30 were employed in jobs that will last longer than 20 years, whereas half of men over 30 were in near-lifetime jobs.

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