Author: Colette Carlson
The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the modern workplaces and Female Workforce across the world and the United States. Unfortunately, women were disproportionately impacted sparking the “She-Cession.” According to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace annual study, one in four women are considering stepping out or stepping back from the workplace which is unprecedented.
Now more than ever, management must holistically support, encourage and prioritize their female workforce to ensure the progress women have made in the workplace isn’t reversed. To do this, leaders can focus on committing to help their female workforce on a professional, personal and company level.
One important theme that affects women in the workplace is the stagnant position many of them hold. Rather than being set up for success and moving up the corporate ladder, women, especially women of color, aren’t advancing professionally compared to their male counterparts. In fact, a recent study shows that for every 100 men promoted to a manager, only 86 women were promoted. To turn this around, leaders can:
A second important aspect that was present before the pandemic, but somewhat less obvious, was the large role that women play at home. In addition to childcare, as previously noted, other factors that forced many women to quit or downsize their careers included the need for workplace flexibility and caregiving responsibilities of elder relatives. To retain females at work to address those specific concerns, leaders should:
A third trend that’s causing women to leave the workplace is the amount of “invisible work” they’re doing without recognition, especially around diversity, equity and inclusion. While they may feel satisfied to be working on these important topics, female employees and managers themselves doing a majority of this work are being left exhausted. Only about a quarter of employees say that the extra work they’re doing is formally recognized. To help with this:
As a leader, it’s important to be realistic about how long implementing some of these changes may take and what resources you’ll need to make them. By having frequent communication, being open to feedback and remaining transparent as to what changes you’re making, your employees can feel reassured too.
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