The Opt-Out Revolt
IN THIS SUMMARY
More and more highly talented employees – particularly women – are leaving the traditional workforce in a trend termed the “opt-out” phenomenon. Some of these individuals pursue careers outside traditional corporate boundaries, others temporarily leave the workforce and return later, and still others choose to permanently opt-out. This phenomenon has resulted in a talent drain that has negatively impacted the productivity and effectiveness of many organizations.
The product of a five-year research study on the patterns in women and men’s careers, The Opt-Out Revolt seeks to understand the factors underlying the opt-out phenomenon. Specifically, Mainiero and Sullivan focus on employees’ needs for authenticity, balance, and challenge, and the role this personal quest is having in their decision to opt-out. In addition, the authors describe an emerging career pattern – the Kaleidoscope Career – that is allowing men and women alike to satisfy these needs.