This blog was written by a guest contributor, Lisa Taylor, Founder of The Hive Holistic.
The pandemic aftermath has exacerbated the challenges working women face. Largely due to an inequitable distribution of caregiving responsibilities, women are experiencing heightened levels of stress and loneliness.
The combined pressures of work and family have grown to intolerable levels for many women over the course of the pandemic. In September alone, 300,000 women left the workforce, while 100,000 men joined it.
Without immediate action, organizations stand to lose an indispensable part of their workforce and erase significant gains that have been made by women in the workplace.
Families and, most specifically, working women are experiencing more stress due to the pandemic. One study from late 2020 conducted by Jessica Calarco, associate professor of sociology at Indiana University, found that 88% of working moms are more stressed now than before the pandemic. This is due in large part to an increase in childcare responsibilities. As Calarco notes:
Now that things like schools and childcare facilities are closed, 55% of the moms in our study say they're spending a great deal more time with their kids now, during the pandemic.
Mounting childcare duties are producing heightened stress levels and exacerbating feelings of loneliness and isolation. In a recent study published by Harvard, 47% of mothers with young children reported increased levels of loneliness since the pandemic.
Women at every socio-economic level are struggling to manage their parental and professional obligations. For instance, in one of her notable discussions on work and family conflicts, former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, described the two demands as having been so difficult to satisfy simultaneously that she "wasn't sure [her] daughters thought [she] was a good mother."
The inequitable distribution of childcare responsibilities doesn't magically disappear as one climbs the corporate ladder. Since the pandemic is harming women's health by exacerbating the uneven delegation of child-rearing duties, its adverse emotional and professional effects will reach every level on the corporate hierarchy.
It is important to note that the pandemic has not impacted all women in the same ways or to the same degree. For instance, one study found that Black and Latinx women are nearly twice as likely as White women to indicate that the pandemic has had a “devastating” impact on their finances.
Young women are struggling to keep their jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a “she-cession,” with women experiencing a disproportionate share of job losses. According to a report from the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, young women ages 16 to 24 years old experienced the most significant decline in employment compared to young men and prime-age workers, mainly due to their concentration in service sectors and other occupations hit hardest by the pandemic.
Below are some steps that employers can take to lessen the negative impact that the pandemic continues to have on women’s health and well-being:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force published draft guidance last week recommending that doctors evaluate… Read More
With hybrid work taking the lead as the most common work model, it is more… Read More
Studies estimate that around 16 million working-age Americans (those aged 18 to 65) have Long… Read More
A recent study suggests that individuals are taking fewer steps than before the COVID-19 pandemic.… Read More