More burned-out employees than ever are resigning due to companies failing to address the new realities of work


“No one is replying to our job ads anymore.”

These are the words of my friend who works in HR for a large advertising company. Usually inundated by more CVs than she could ever possibly read, responses to job adverts have dried up over the past few months. My friend, let’s call her Sarah*, was baffled. The pay was good, the benefits were the same as they ever were and the projects that prospective candidates would get to work on were some of the most exciting in the industry (according to her, of course). So where were the job-seekers? Why weren’t they beating a path to her door (or inbox) as they had in the past?

On top of that, despite managing not to make any covid-induced redundancies, more roles than ever stood up for grabs at the same time due to a mass exodus of employees across all levels. And neither her or her team couldn’t work out exactly why. 

And Sarah’s company isn’t alone. 


At the end of 2021, a new report found that almost a quarter of workers were actively planning to change employers or jobs in the next few months, as part of a “great resignation” prompted by a high number of vacancies and burnout caused by the pandemic.

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The survey of 6,000 workers, by the recruitment firm Randstad UK, found that 69 per cent of them were feeling confident about moving to a new role in the next few months, with 24 per cent planning a change within three to six months — up from the UK average of 11 per cent. 

And according to the Femtech Futures 2023 report by Ultra Violet, for womxn, this is a trend that has actually been building for a few years. 

“During the summer of 2020 we witnessed how women were being overlooked by policy makers when it came to professional and familial support. The result? A mass exodus of women from the workforce, widening the gender pay gap and leaving reverberations that even the most steadfast CEO cannot ignore,” the report details. 

“As the daily impact of the pandemic on our lives fades to relative normalcy in most parts of the globe, the aftershock of discrepancies in our society, particularly our cultural relationship with the world of work still ring out. Now as we move forward, women are becoming more determined than ever to drive action-orientated, solution-focused change.

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“Employee activism is on the rise, driven by communities designed to educate, empower and encourage women to demand practical solutions to their work/life balance from their employer; coupled with employers clambering to retain staff, we are seeing a wave of action. New benefits are appearing on employee contracts and a slew of innovative startups are capturing the opportunity with B2B businesses offering everything from fertility coaching to breastmilk shipping services for working mums.”

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