Workplace red flags women ignore

by Feb 8, 2024

Workplace red flags women ignore

Women are less routinely in touch with the job market than their male colleagues and tend to miss key red flags

Men apply for 13% more jobs than women. (LinkedIn) The gender split on LinkedIn is 43% women to 57% men, although in France the LinkedIn population is gender balanced.  This tells us that women tend to be less active and in touch with the job market than their male peers.

Today over 70% of employees are looking for a new job, so the competition is going to be stiff.

My experience working in the career sector both in executive search and career coaching is that women tend mainly to look for a new job when they are at the end of their tether or there is a crisis. This can be because they have been laid off and, they can’t tolerate the circumstances of their professional situations a moment longer. Women react more frequently to changes in their personal lives such as caring responsibilities, change of schools for the kids, or new daycare arrangements.

When women are less in touch, this also means they miss insights on what is going on in the job market and can very often blind to the red flags in their own organisation.

 These are the workplace red flags women ignore


1. Lack of growth opportunities

Women tend to prefer internal promotions than looking outside their current organisation which means they can stay too long in a specific role. When you are stagnating in your role without prospects for advancement or skill development this is a significant red flag.

If you are stuck in a job with no clear path for growth or learning possibilities, it may be time to look elsewhere for opportunities that align with your career goals. You have career goals …right?

2. Toxic work environment

Toxic work environments impact our mental and emotional well-being. Signs of a toxic work environment include sexism and any form of harassment or micro-aggressions. This can include backstabbing by colleagues or bosses, offensive banter and jokes, and being cut out of meetings. The infographic covers the range of inappropriate behaviours that can cause a red flag.

About one third of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace and over 80% report sexist microaggressions.


When a workplace has a culture of negativity or disrespect with deeply ingrained office politics and a lack of transparency, then this is a definite red flag. Dealing with this type of environment drains your energy, creativity and enthusiasm, so it’s time to consider a change.

3. Inadequate or bad pay

Feeling undervalued or underpaid for your contributions is a clear red flag. If your compensation and benefits package does not align with industry standards or fail to meet your financial needs, it may be time to explore options that offer fairer remuneration.

Check out your salary level on sites such as or

With the advent implementation of the European Pay Transparency Directive, hopefully, this will become a concern of the past.

4. Unmanageable workload

Constantly feeling overwhelmed by an unmanageable workload can lead to burnout which can negatively impact your performance and well-being. If your job consistently demands more time and effort than you can reasonably give without adequate support or resources, it’s a sign that you may need to seek a role with a more sustainable workload.

Or learn to say no.

There is also the added burden of women taking on the invisible work load both in the office and at home.

5. Lack of Work-Life Balance

Struggling to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life is another red flag. If your job requires excessive overtime, frequent weekend work, or restricts your ability to take time off when needed, it can take a toll on your overall happiness and relationships outside of work.

Yep …you need to look around.

6. Poor leadership and management

Ineffective leadership and management can hinder your professional growth and job satisfaction. Signs of poor leadership include a lack of clear communication, micromanagement, favoritism, and a failure to address employee concerns or provide constructive feedback. When you find yourself constantly frustrated by leadership decisions or unable to thrive under current management, it may be time to seek a more supportive work environment.

If any of this features in your daily life  – set up job alerts ASAP.

7. Company or sector instability

A company facing financial instability, frequent layoffs, or a high turnover rate among employees may not provide a stable foundation for your career growth. If you have concerns about the long-term viability of your current employer, it’s wise to explore opportunities elsewhere to safeguard your career.

It can also be about a sector contraction which could mean the writing is on the wall for any long-term career development in this particular area. 

8. Values Misalignment

Misalignment between your personal values and the company culture or practices can lead to dissatisfaction and ethical conflicts. This can happen with a change of leadership or your immediate boss. If you find yourself compromising your values or feeling disconnected from the mission and values of your organisation, it may be worth seeking a workplace that better aligns with your principles.

Time to bail

Recognising these red flags is the first step toward assessing whether your current job fits your professional and personal growth. While change can be challenging it’s important to prioritise your physical and emotional well-being.

If any of these signs resonate with your current situation, it may be time to consider exploring new opportunities that better align with your aspirations and values. Changing jobs takes time,especially for more senior roles. Don’t wait until you are at breaking point to start the process.


Need career guidance and strategies?

Contact us to assess your career needs


Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
follow me

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Individual services

Only 50% of women create a career strategy. Make sure you are on the right side of that equation to reach your potential

Corporate services

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” — Jesse Jackson

Upcoming events


📢New program: How to create inclusive job postings

In today's rapidly evolving world, it's essential for organisations to embrace diversity and inclusion. Organisations unconsciously communicate their company cultures and values in everything they do including their job postings. These can either attract or repel talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

A crucial step in this process is ensuring that your job postings reflect these values. Our training program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to craft job descriptions that attract candidates from all backgrounds, eliminating bias and fostering an inclusive hiring process.


create inclusive job postings

Full programme details HERE


📢New Programme available with 3Plus International

“If you have a brain you have a bias” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our hiring processes.

The ‘How to Mitigate Bias in the Recruitment Process’ programme is designed to convey the serious nature of bias in the recruitment process with a focus on gender bias and the way it impacts both businesses and organisations, but in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging.



Full programme details HERE

Dates for the Diary


11th June 2024 : Corporate Training  - Build your Personal Board of Directors

14th June 2024:  Corporate Training How to Handle Everyday Sexism

1st July 2024 Corporate Master Class  “How to make your job postings more inclusive “

9th October 2024 Corporate Event  ‘How to Build your Circle of Success for Career Advancement”

Download and listen free podcasts

Latest Podcasts

Related articles