The pandemic’s impact on working women

How employers can prevent a setback in achieving gender parity

Global survey finds that nearly seven out of 10 women who experienced negative shifts in their routine as a result of COVID-19 believe their career progression will slow down.

It may be years before we comprehend the full ramifications of COVID-19 on our society and places of work. But one thing is for sure: While we are still learning to navigate the pandemic, we have each had to adapt our daily lives to respond to it.

We surveyed nearly 400 working women across nine countries to provide a snapshot of how some working women have been impacted by this global pandemic. We wanted to find out how and to what degree their day-to-day lives have changed and whether they believe these changes will impact their careers.

  • Nearly 82% of women surveyed said their lives have been negatively disrupted by the pandemic
  • Nearly 70% of women who have experienced these disruptions are concerned their career growth may be limited as a result

The results of this research are concerning. For many working women, the pandemic is upending their work/life balance and affecting their physical and mental health, and some are even questioning their current and long-term career prospects. Some have cited working longer hours because of the pandemic and others are juggling extra caregiving duties as a result of pandemic-related consequences (i.e., school closures, caring for relatives) while also working full-time.

We also asked women to name the most beneficial actions their organizations could take to help mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic and ensure they stay at their organizations long-term. Their answers are instructive and illuminating.

We hope this survey helps organizations understand the significant impact the pandemic is having on women and what leaders can do to help support their workforce. Efforts to mitigate these impacts will be essential to prevent rolling back gender diversity progress, and they will help minimize the long-term societal and economic consequences the pandemic has had on women.

Understanding the pandemic’s impact on working women

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