“We have to get curious and ask questions and challenge assumptions of what the ‘home’ looks like.”. Other campaigners, however, are concerned that progress might not be as speedy as optimists hope, especially for women in roles outside the corporate world and those who may be experiencing additional entrenched social inequities connected to factors such as class or ethnic background. I still feel a little bit under pressure because I’d wanted to get as much done as possible before the baby arrives,” she says. collaboration with select social media and trusted analytics partners At the beginning of the pandemic, there were high hopes that the global shift to home-working could mean childcare and chores would be divided more equally within couples. 1 The FTSE 250 is even further behind, with just 2% of companies being led by females, including IG Group which is led by June Felix. A slump in the number of women running for public office is another concern. “Before Covid I was applying and pitching for investments and working on my social enterprise during the day when my son was at school,” she explains. While the pipeline data reflect the end of year 2019 and predate the pandemic, the team pivoted quickly to ensure the final output would be relevant. “If you’re made redundant and face unemployment, research shows that it's much harder to get back on track if you’re out of a job for more than a couple of months.” Add in that women start to experience age discrimination from their early 40s, says Whaley, and “all this adds up to a perfect storm setting women’s equality back”. Ruth McGowan, author of the book Get Elected and a campaigner for increased gender equality in politics, has recently spoken about a drop in interest from female candidates ahead of local elections in Australia. Every year our firm has conducted this research, we’ve seen that attrition is not a driver in the difference between men and women’s representation, but this could be different next year, possibly as a result of the shift to remote work. It is true that during crises, epidemics and pandemics, women tend to take up more caregiver responsibilities than usual, often at the expense of their health. But the situation created “huge amounts of frustration”, as Xavier, who splits household bills equally with her partner, shouldered the bulk of the childcare, cooking and cleaning, while he spent most of his days in video meetings. Women are also more likely to work part-time, typically due to existing childcare or other family responsibilities which, says Whaley, has also fed into many couples’ decisions for mothers, rather than fathers, to step back during Covid-19. Our data show that while over 60 percent of employees consider themselves to be allies to women of color at work, relatively few take consistent action. The so-called ‘new normal’ where people have been forced to stay at and, if possible, work from home has resulted in the pushing back of the Gender Equality and Women … But she advises against firms creating “blanket rules” for employees, arguing that Covid-19 has forced us all to think more about people’s personal circumstances and what they need in order to work effectively. Philippe Vincent-Lamarre, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Vincent Larivière. “It is because [the pandemic] is going to continue – most likely – and there’s not a quick fix.” Despite strong anecdotal evidence of a trend toward senior women quitting their jobs, she says there is little hard international comparative data. our use of cookies, and Unleash their potential. A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that British mothers were 23% more likely than fathers to have temporarily or permanently become unemployed during the pandemic. Researchers from Boston Consulting Group, which surveyed more than 3,000 people in the US and Europe, found that working women currently spend an average of 15 hours a week more on unpaid domestic labour than men. “Knowing that many companies made structural changes during and post-pandemic, we’ll be able to assess the impact on the pipeline,” she adds. “If you take a career break or are furloughed, your skills may get stale. “We have agreed that if another batch of parental leave is needed, that he would take it,” says Morrison, who is concerned about day-cares remaining closed in Ireland. Next year’s pipeline data will show the impact of COVID-19 on women’s representation—both in terms of decisions companies have made in reorganization and potential attrition due to women stepping out of the workforce. Learn more News and stories Our mission is to help leaders in multiple sectors develop a deeper understanding of the global economy. Her partner is unable to work from home, so she has been the primary caregiver for her two young children throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. “We rewrote our entire HR and employee surveys this past spring to best reflect the impact of the crisis on women so far,” says Jess Huang, a McKinsey partner and co-lead of the Women in the Workplace research. It’s not just that women make up 91% of nurses, 74% of healthcare workers and almost 62% of pharmaceutical professions. Produced in partnership with Lean In, the annual report, published since 2015, analyzes workplace … September 30, 2020Today we release the 2020 edition of Women in the Workplace, the largest study of the experiences of women and gender inequality in corporate America. Decide if your newborn is rooming-in with you in the hospital. Companies are at a place where they need to be deliberate about redesigning this new workplace or else risk losing the women who are struggling the most. Urgent measures are necessary from various levels of government to develop support programs for immigrant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 has the potential to be a disaster for equality,” agrees Caroline Whaley, co-founder of British consultancy firm Shine, which works to improve gender balance in companies. ‘My entire life changed overnight’: The women radically overhauling their careers during the Covid crisis ‘There was a lot of time for self-reflection. Depressing as this might seem, there are nonetheless glimmers of hope that the pandemic may yet prove to be a catalyst for change. Preterm (less than 37 completed weeks gestation) birth and other problems with pregnancy and birth have been reported among women who tested positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy. Essential services must reach women living with HIV. The couple also took their children out of daycare (which has largely remained open in Sweden) for several months, due to worries about how the coronavirus could affect expectant mothers. Work-life flexibility was the number one issue raised by survey participants regarding workplace inclusion by women and men last year. Back in Stockholm, pregnant entrepreneur Anna Xavier says her partner has started to become “more willing” to take on extra household chores. Women have long reported higher levels of psychological distress than men, but the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with even greater feelings of anxiety and depression among women with children. Women with COVID-19 are more likely to perceive more pain during childbirth and more likely to give birth to newborns that need to be transferred to neonatal intensive care. However, it is still unclear whether the antibodies, which are proteins produced by the immune system to fight foreign agents, were passed from the mother or the baby developed them. It’s an opinion shared by 39-year-old Roger Dowley from Dublin, who works for a multinational tech company and is the father of two toddlers. New mothers seeking to return to work are impacted by a lack of clarity over the future availability of childcare, sparking petitions in countries including Australia, Ireland and the UK to extend state-funded parental leave. In fact, companies anticipate that increasing flexibility could allow them to better attract and retain diverse talent across different geographies. People create and sustain change. A recent United Nations study even warned that the pandemic could dilute decades of advancement on gender equality. “This is particularly concerning given senior women can have an outsized impact on diversity and inclusion at their companies,” says Jess. In Australia, provisional results of a survey by the University of Melbourne suggest that in households with children, parents are putting in an extra six hours a day of care and supervision, with women taking on more than two-thirds of the extra time. But her observations from the business world are already playing out in other fields. ... says Emily Martin with the National Women's Law Center. “If the disparities we’ve witnessed in submissions to the journal aren’t just a statistical blip, then the obvious conclusion is that women bear the brunt of these disruptions,” she recently told US intellectual site The New Republic. “It’s been surprising to see how many women are having such a difficult experience that they are considering stepping out of the workforce or switching to less demanding jobs,” says Jess. But then I can't really cook if the kitchen is a mess, because there isn't much space.”, She believes there’s therefore also a need for ongoing discussions – both within households and in society more generally – about what constitutes a fair share of the load. “Don’t just say it’s okay to be flexible; actively model that behaviour and make it okay for people to take time off, extend deadlines so that there’s longer to complete work.”, Couples like Una Morrison and Roger Dowley in Dublin are seeking gender-balanced childcare in the midst of the pandemic (Credit: Dowley and Morrison), In Zurich, Allyson Zimmermann also believes “there is potential for a massive change across the board” in the corporate landscape. “The data tell us that while there are some benefits to remote work, employees are also dealing with financial uncertainty, burnout, and mental health issues.” As a result, certain groups are really struggling, like working moms, Black women, and senior women. “Now that he’s seen how it worked, I hope he will.” Dowley admits he’s worried he might find it a challenge, but confirms that he’s “all open” to time off with the kids. Campaign groups such as Pregnant then Screwed have also highlighted additional challenges women on maternity leave faced during or in the lead-up to the crisis. Pregnant and with two children under the age of six, Anna Xavier was recently so stressed about juggling work and life she threatened to move out of the family home and find her own apartment. In the EU, women earn an average 16% less an hour than men, while the figure rises to 18% in the US, and is substantially higher in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, according to data from the World Economic Forum. Women are shouldering a much heavier burden of household labor and caregiving during Covid-19, and it’s taking a toll — they’re experiencing physical symptoms of stress and burnout at up to twice the rate of men. We spoke with Jess on what the biggest takeaways are from this past year’s findings are. Men and millennials are far more likely than women and older workers to bargain for better pay during the pandemic, a survey finds. It doesn't matter if the kitchen is a mess. “I have absolutely no income from my dance school because it is just impossible.”. Academic studies from the Netherlands, the US and Germany offer similar findings, while performance marketing company Fluent found that almost two-thirds of men wanted to keep working from home, with increased family time cited as their top reason. Their partners agreed, although on average they gave slightly lower estimates of how much things had improved. She recommends talking to your doctor about the details of your job and specifying exactly what accommodations you would like. But, in the meantime, the increased level of debate surrounding existing inequalities is at the very least, she argues, an important first step. The couple have since sent their children back to daycare and hired a cleaner to avoid further arguments. 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