Statistics show that women have experienced more adverse changes in their work lives than men have since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. A recent survey from Deloitte found that 7 out of 10 women have experience a negative impact because of the pandemic. And one economic report from earlier in 2021 showed that 1 million more women than men lost their job. Let that sink in.
Many women feel like the pandemic has slowed their careers. There are many contributing factors, including taking on home-schooling duties; reduced childcare options; and assisting relatives. They also may have had their own health issues and workplace changes to accommodate to, including a change in hours and workloads as staffing levels fluctuated. These challenges had carried over into 2021.
As more people get vaccinated, women – especially mothers – still face additional family responsibilities. Childcare access is limited as providers close or reduce the number of children they can take on. While schools are back in session, there continues to be a possibility that children exposed to the virus may need to quarantine and do their studies from home again.
Fortunately, many employers have acknowledged these challenges and adapted new ways of working with their employees to ensure they can succeed in their jobs while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Going forward, some of these measures may greatly benefit women.
Employers have found that flexibility is key to workplace wellness. Flexibility allows both employees and their managers to focus on completing projects, not micromanaging. Some researchers have found that employees can be more productive if they can work when they are at their most energetic and have dedicated time to focus on the task at hand.
Hybrid work arrangements that allow for employees to work some days out of the office will also likely expand after the pandemic ends. To ensure inclusivity and accessibility, business owners need to invest in the right technology that promotes strong, effective communication amongst employees and their leader.
“Now is the time to support the new workplace environment.” If we want a more inclusive, robust economy, then it only makes sense for employers to make accommodations to support women’s success in the workplace.
SAFE offers no-cost financial wellness services to employers through our Workplace Financial Wellness program. Learn more here.
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