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Women @ Work: A global outlook

How employers can support women and create more high-trust, inclusive cultures during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Global survey finds that 51% of women are less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic

“Organizations can now take a variety of actions to address this critical issue,” said Petra Tito, CHRO of Deloitte Netherlands. They can promote a good work-life balance and anchor flexible work options in the corporate culture. Specific attention can now be paid to balance in the working day: no continuous zoom calls, but variety in activities and working methods. Women can also be offered support in their private life so that they can be successful in their work. In addition, appealing development opportunities can be offered, with which skills and expertise can be further built and career opportunities increased.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating and disproportionate impacts on women’s lives and careers

We surveyed 5,000 working women across 10 countries to hear directly from them about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of gender equality in the workplace. Respondents varied across age groups and the data from the survey has also enabled analysis through the intersectional lenses of race and ethnicity and sexual orientation and gender identity.

Women indicated that they are more stressed and discouraged since the pandemic began as they take on an increasing amount of responsibility at home and in their careers. Women continue to face a broad range of non-inclusive behaviors without adequate support from their direct managers and employers at large. Many employers have policies and procedures for reporting bias and discrimination, but few employers have cultivated cultures of trust where women feel comfortable voicing concerns without fearing negative career impacts.

The pandemic and employers’ unsatisfactory responses to the comprehensive pressures on women are forcing many women to make difficult decisions about whether to find another job or even leave the workforce altogether. This is a critical moment for employers to understand the changes that women want—and need—to have happen soon. We hope that this report helps organizations minimize the long-term consequences of the pandemic and rebuild workplaces with more inclusive, high-trust cultures that are fit for the future.

Women @ Work: A global outlook

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