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Research Report

Enabling women on the frontline to thrive, stay and perform

A report by Catalyst in partnership with Accenture

In brief

  • Catalyst, in partnership with Accenture, identifies actions for organizations to improve working conditions and engage women in frontline jobs.
  • Applying the same DEI strategies used in corporate settings to women in frontline roles misses the nuance of different jobs and environments.
  • Now is the time to discover new solutions to address high burnout and turnover rates and low engagement and productivity.

From retail sales to heavy machine operations, frontline jobs are some of the most important— and toughest—out there. As women are critical to our workforce, it’s important to better understand how they really felt at work. What we found points the way towards ensuring women in these roles are fully recognized and fulfilled to give their very best.

We interviewed dozens of women in frontline roles. Again and again, women told us that while they are motivated to perform at a high level, they are too often frustrated by environments and practices that do not consider their needs.

Here’s the good news: companies have a clear opportunity to attract and retain more women. When companies address the needs of women in frontline roles, they position themselves to increase employee satisfaction, morale, and engagement—leading to improved retention and stronger performance.

Last year’s annual separation rates hit


in the manufacturing industry.


in the retail industry.


in the hospitality industry.

So, what do women in frontline jobs need?

Team Dynamics on the Frontline & Why They Matter More Than Ever