The pandemic has had a significant impact on the education sector, with many educators, including women, facing unprecedented challenges and stress. Some have chosen to leave the profession or take a break from work to focus on their health and well-being, while others have continued to work tirelessly to support students and communities through this difficult time.
The question remains: What has caused so many women to leave the field of education?
Since 2020 the education sector has seen an increase in the number of women leaving the field, and as we look at the most recent data we can see five key trends that answer the question: What has caused so many women to leave the field of education?
- Low pay and inadequate benefits: Many educators, especially women, are paid low wages and receive limited benefits, despite the critical role they play in shaping the next generation. This can make it difficult for them to make ends meet and can contribute to burnout and stress.
- High workload and stress: Educators are under significant pressure to meet academic standards, support student wellbeing, and address the challenges posed by the pandemic. This can create a high workload and significant stress, leading some educators to leave the profession.
- Lack of support and resources: Educators may feel unsupported or undervalued by their schools or districts, and may lack the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. This can contribute to a sense of frustration and burnout.
- Cultural and societal expectations: Women may face unique cultural and societal expectations around their roles as caregivers and educators, which can create additional stress and pressure. This can be compounded by biases and stereotypes around gender and leadership in education.
- The pandemic: The pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on educators, with many facing significant challenges related to remote learning, health and safety concerns, and student mental health. This has created additional stress and uncertainty and may be contributing to higher rates of burnout and attrition.
With over 80% of the educational workforce being female, the education sector must take steps to address these and other factors that may be contributing to the loss of talented women educators. We are looking closely at those states, organizations, and districts that are providing more support and resources, improving pay and benefits, and addressing biases and stereotypes around gender and leadership in education.
By valuing and supporting women educators, we can build a stronger and more equitable education system for all.